In Tunisia, where the Arab Spring was born, democratic progress continues. On a recent visit there, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said, "the eyes of the world are on Tunisia, and America wants Tunisia to succeed."
Despite great hardships and two major terrorist attacks, Tunisia has turned time and again to peaceful dialogue, consensus building, and compromise. As a result, Tunisia has built a powerful front against the Islamic extremists who oppose freedom, democracy, and everything that the Tunisian people are striving to build.
The United States is committed to helping Tunisia move forward on its economic, democratic, and security objectives. The United States has already provided more than $700 million in foreign assistance to Tunisia since 2011 in the form of direct aid to democracy building, assistance for elections and civil society organizations, and security support.
That's why the United States supports Tunisia’s ambitious economic reform agenda. The government has proposed specific reforms which they have forwarded now to the parliament. In an effort to help Tunisia achieve its goals, the U.S. has signed a Declaration of Intent signifying its readiness to grant a third loan guarantee to Tunisia.
In order to protect Tunisia’s emerging democracy and growing prosperity, it is essential to enhance security cooperation. Toward that end, President Barack Obama recently announced his intent to designate Tunisia a Major Non-NATO Ally. The U.S. will continue to stand with Tunisia in addressing all terrorist threats. Indeed, the United States welcomes Tunisia’s decision to join the Global Counter-ISIL Coalition in September.
The terrorists associated with ISIL need to know this: their days are numbered, and they will be defeated. There is no future, no path forward for ISIL which does not lead ultimately to its destruction.
The United States is committed to standing with the Tunisian people, to deepening the growing partnership that both nations share, and to continuing to support Tunisia’s democratic journey.