Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Tunisia's President Asks for Increased Economic and Security Assistance

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Tunisia's President Asks for Increased Economic and Security Assistance

Article excerpt

Tunisian President Mohamed Moncef Marzouki delivered a public address at the Atlantic Council in Washington, DC on Aug. 5, urging the United States and Europe to provide adequate support to his country so it does not fall prey to what he described as a growing terrorism threat.

"We have an obligation. We must be a success story," Marzouki stressed. "But Tunisia is not an island...There is a border crisis with Libya, Mali, and there are the jihadists going to Syria...The challenge is not only national, it is regional."

Marzouki urged the international community not to neglect his country amid the various global crises capturing headlines.

"If you do not bet on Tunisia, if you do not give us what we need to fight terrorists, if you do not invest, you can say goodbye to democracy in the Arab world for a century," Marzouki warned.

He specified that Tunisia needs funds to train its security forces and purchase advanced arms, ammunition, helicopters and communication equipment.

Following the president's visit, the U.S. announced it is giving Tunisia $60 million in military aid for training purposes and to purchase new boats and devices for detecting explosives. …

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