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EU, Tunisia’s Prime Minister Habib Essid on security and migration challenges

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Tunisia’s Prime Minister Habib Essid met the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Human Rights and Security and Defence subcommittees on Thursday to discuss the latest developments in his country. Security challenges, fighting terrorism and tackling migration flows were the key issues raised in the debate.

Tunisia’s transition to democracy has been difficult, taking over 3 years to complete, said Mr Essid, adding that its major political challenge now was to put its newly-approved constitution into practice.

“Development cannot happen without security”, he said, stressing that Tunisia’s new counter-terrorism strategy is a top priority. He also described its new 5-year strategy to boost the economy, including regional projects and development programmes.

On migration flows, Mr Essid stressed that prevention is always needed and the only way to achieve it is by finding sustainable solutions locally in order to integrate people in their own country, so as to prevent them from fleeing.

Mr Essid repeatedly thanked the European Parliament and the EU as a whole for lending their support to Tunisia during its difficult democratic transition period.

All MEPs welcomed Tunisia’s progress, acknowledging its difficulties with migration and terrorism, and saying that it should “lead by example”.

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