Kerry in Tunisia to help bolster fledgling democracy

2015-11-13 12:20
John Kerry. (File: AFP)

John Kerry. (File: AFP)

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

Tunis - US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Tunis on Friday to take part in a strategic dialogue aimed at bolstering political and economic ties with the North African nation.

Kerry will be meeting members of the National Dialogue Quartet, who last month won the Nobel Peace Prize for their role in promoting a democratic transition after the Arab Spring revolution of 2011.

The Quartet comprises the Tunisian General Labour Union; the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts; the Tunisian Human Rights League; and the Tunisian Order of Lawyers.

It was formed in 2013 as the process of democratisation was facing huge challenges amid social unrest, threatening to drag Tunisia into civil war.

Political and economic challenges

Kerry's talks with members of the quartet are aimed at helping to support Tunisia's fledgling democracy and bolster its economy and its security.

"We will plan to use this visit and use these meetings to underline our support for Tunisia's democracy, its efforts to build its security and develop its economy," a senior US State Department official said.

The official noted that Tunisia is facing "some challenges", both political and economic, and "is going to need some time to build its institutions".

He said that Kerry will launch the dialogue which will then divide into three working groups that will focus on economy, security, and democracy and partnership.

Kerry will also meet President Beji Caid Essebsi, Tunisia's first democratically elected head of state who travelled to Washington in May seeking more military aid to counter a jihadist threat.


During the visit, the United States designated Tunisia a major non-Nato ally.

Since the 2011 revolution that toppled veteran strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the North African country has seen a rise in jihadist violence that has targeted security forces as well as the key tourism industry.

Jihadist attacks in Tunis and the seaside resort of Sousse in March and June killed 60 people, most of them foreign holidaymakers, dealing a heavy blow to the industry which accounts for almost 10 percent of GDP.

Earlier this year, Tunisia joined the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group that claimed the two attacks.

Washington has provided Tunis with more than $700m in aid since 2011 and Kerry's visit is expected to examine a request by Tunis for an additional $500m in loan guarantees, the US official said.

Kerry will hold a joint news conference with Tunisian Foreign Minister Taieb Baccouche later Friday before flying to Vienna for an international conference on Syria.

Read more on:    john kerry  |  us  |  tunisia  |  north africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Man scores date with tennis superstar after Twitter bet

It’s a modern day Cinderella story, but one American man took ‘shoot your shot’ seriously in 2017.


You won't want to miss...

6 myths about male cancer
Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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 network.


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.