French President François Hollande ended a two-day trip to Tunisia on Friday by hailing the country's popular uprising against Ben Ali as an "example" to the world and affirming his commitment to strengthening ties between the two countries.
French President François Hollande concluded a two-day trip to Tunisia on Friday by affirming his commitment to strengthening ties between the two countries in a speech at the National Assembly in the capital Tunis.
The birthplace of the Arab Spring uprisings, Hollande is the first French president to visit Tunisia since former leader Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali was forced from power in January 2011.
During his speech, Hollande invoked France’s own revolutionary history in remembering Tunisia’s popular uprising against Ben Ali, describing the country as an “example” to the world.
He went on to express France’s “esteem” for its former colony, and his desire to rebuild ties with what he described as the “new Tunisia”.
“I am the first French president to visit Tunisia since your revolution. It’s a symbol, but it’s also a desire to rebuild relations between France and Tunisia,” Hollande said.
As part of efforts to strengthen ties between the two countries, Hollande said that France had already committed 1.5 billion euros for development in Tunisia, pledging to increase that amount by 500 million euros in 2013-2014.
He went on to say that France planned to invest not only in public works and infrastructure, but also in business in Tunisia.
Date created : 2013-07-05