|Mustapha Abdeljalil (left) and Béji Caïd Essebsi (right)|
jeudi 13 octobre 2011
Meetings between Libyan and Tunisian officials intensify
Diplomatic meetings were numerous this week between Libyan and Tunisian officials. This all started Friday with a visit from the Libyan Vice-president of the National Transition Council (NTC), Abdelhafidh Ghouga, in Tunis. He met with the Tunisian Minister of Health, Slah Eddine Sellami, and took the time to thank his neighbors for their political and humanitarian support during Libya’s revolution. During the uprising, wounded rebels were admitted to Tunisian hospitals and are still being treated there today. After the session, the delegation took time to visit many of them.
The next day, the NTC VP traveled to Carthage to met with interim Tunisian President Foued Mebazza. The conversation was primarily about cooperation in an effort to stabilize the region after the revolts. Mr. Ghouga concluded his visit on Sunday by speaking to Prime Minister Essebsi. More details here.
Then, it was Tunisia's turn to send their own delegation to Libya on Wednesday. Led by PM Essebsi, they met with their Libyan colleagues in Benghazi. Most of the media’s attention though was focused on the joint communiqué released by the president of the NTC, Mustapha Abdeljalil, and PM Essebsi. It stated that both leaders planned to maintain solidarity between the two nations so that their revolututions could become complete. Mr. Essebsi also took the opportunity to congratulate the Libyan people for their victory against the old regime.
Finally, the President of the NTC thanked Tunisia for it’s aid to Libyan refugees since last February. Many Tunisian families took refugees into their homes and sheltered them until the conflict was over. Libyan refugees in Tunisia numbered 900 000 and many of them have yet to return home. Their descision on staying or not in Tunisia will certainly have an impact on both countrie’s economies. If you would like to read further on this, Courrier International published an article (in French) about it.