Panetta offers Tunisia help

2012-07-30 21:55
Moncef Marzouki (Francois Guillot, AP/Pool)

Moncef Marzouki (Francois Guillot, AP/Pool)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Tunis - US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta on Monday said Washington was ready to help Tunisia develop its capacities to combat al-Qaeda, and urged closer regional co-operation in fighting the terror network.

"The US Department of Defence stands ready to help Tunisia to ensuring regional stability, to strengthen the capabilities of its defence institutions," Panetta told reporters after meeting President Moncef Marzouki.

It was the first visit to the North African country by a US defence secretary since the popular uprising that toppled Tunisian dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January last year and touched off the Arab Spring.

"I was pleased to begin a dialogue about how we can deepen that co-operation in the range of common concerns, counter violent extremism and terrorism," Panetta said, adding the US and Tunisian militaries "have long been partners".

"There are a number of efforts that we can assist them with to develop the kind of operations, the kind of intelligence that will help effectively deal with that threat," the US official explained.

Panetta urged the Arab Maghreb Union, the dormant five-country bloc that groups Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia, to develop counter-terrorism efforts to confront al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and protect their borders.

Foreign ministers from the group, meeting in Algiers earlier this month, agreed on the need to forge a common security pact in response to the upheavals in the region.

AQIM, which stems from a group started in the late 1990s by radical Algerian Islamists and formally subscribed to al-Qaeda's ideology in 2007, has been boosted by the political turmoil in Mali.

Security experts say the armed Islamist groups that have occupied the vast desert terrain in northern Mali are acting under the aegis of the North African al-Qaeda franchise.

Panetta said Washington also stands ready to help train the Tunisian armed forces at an institutional level, and hailed the "positive role" they have played since the revolution.

The US official was speaking to the media during a visit to a military cemetery in Tunis where thousands of US servicemen killed in North Africa during World Word II are buried.

Panetta's one-day trip to Tunisia is the first stop on a regional tour that will also take him to Egypt, Israel and Jordan.

Read more on:    moncef marzouki  |  leon panetta  |  tunisia  |  us  |  north africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Oscar Pistorius
 

6 impressive camping tips

Check out these great tips that will make your camping experience so much better!

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Free outdoor yoga classes
Watch: 5 skills to improve your BMX riding
Action camera for all occasions
Tips on how to set your fitness goals

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Save 20% on Nivea beauty products!

Buy any two Nivea beauty products and save 20%. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is an easy social flow and the need to blend in, yet you may not feel entirely comfortable. Something beneath the surface...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.