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Italian Foreign Minister to meet with Tunisian counterpart

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Italian Foreign Minister to meet with Tunisian counterpart

Tunisia
Photo: Zoubeir Souissi/Reuters

Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Mario is set to meet with his Tunisian counterpart Othman Jerandi in Tunis today. 

The only country to successfully democratize following the Arab Spring, Tunisia is currently facing a constitutional crisis. President Kais Saied suspended Parliament and sacked its president on July 25 under the guise of circumventing corrupt officials and transitioning Tunisia towards democracy. Despite some EU officials labeling him an authoritarian, Saied maintains that legislative elections are planned for December 17, 2022. 

Expect Tunisia to ask for Italy’s backing in the EU Parliament where it hopes to convince the legislative body to extend a freeze on embezzled Tunisian state funds in Europe. Italy is likely to support this initiative to facilitate economic recovery and stem the issue of migration from Tunisia. Although the EU has an interest in aiding Tunisian economic recovery and democratization through the 2022-2027 financial plan, sanctions remain an option if Saied does not follow through on his promises. For his part, Saied has not convinced the EU of his good will, with reports of suppression of political opposition. In the case of Brussels cracking down on Tunis, Saeid will likely seek help from Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt in the short-term. 

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