Tunisia welcomes return to African fold

2012-01-30 12:23

Addis Ababa - Post-revolution Tunisia said on Sunday it wanted to strengthen relations with other African states which suffered under the rule of toppled strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki, who was at an African Union summit in Addis Ababa, told reporters that his country would hunt for investment in the rest of Africa.

"Tunisia had no diplomatic role, especially in Africa. It completely disappeared from the scene," Marzouki said, explaining that Ben Ali did not consider the north African country as part of the continent.

"We are sure and certain that Africa is a future investment destination for Tunisia, and we are going to develop that," Marzouki added.

African leaders opened a two-day summit in the Ethiopian capital focusing on intra-African trade.

Tunisia was the first country in the Arab world to initiate mass protests against its autocratic leadership, triggering a wave of protests across the region last year that also toppled Egypt's Hosni Mubarak and Libya's Muammar Gaddafi.