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U.S. - Tunisia Relations


Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan shakes hands with Tunisian President Caid Essebsi during his recent visit to the region.

The United States and Tunisia have a strong partnership that is based upon mutual interests and shared values.

The United States and Tunisia have a strong partnership that is based upon mutual interests and shared values. The bilateral relationship with Tunisia extends more than 200 years, when Tunisia became one of the first countries in the world to recognize the newly formed United States. Similarly, in 1956, following Tunisia’s independence, the United States was the first major power to recognize Tunisian sovereignty and establish diplomatic relations.

Since that time, said Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan, "our partnership has continued to grow, thanks to the efforts of the Tunisian citizens who in 2011 took courageous steps to embrace democracy, human rights, and freedom as a means to achieve equality and social dignity."

The United States is proud to support Tunisia's efforts to improve security, develop democratic institutions and practices, and foster economic growth. In 2017, the United States increased its development and military assistance to Tunisia by more than 30 percent over 2016 levels to $205.4 million.

Deputy Secretary Sullivan and his Tunisian counterparts discussed the critical economic reforms and anti-corruption measures the Tunisian government is working to put into action. These reforms will bring about increased economic growth and prosperity, trade relations, foreign investment in Tunisia, and access to markets for Tunisian products. The U.S. supports Tunisia’s continued efforts to encourage inclusive economic growth and improve its business climate.

Discussions also focused on the importance of mutual security. "We must consolidate gains against ISIS and deny safe havens to those terrorist groups who continue to probe for opportunities to regroup in North Africa and threaten the United States and our partners, including Tunisia. The recent terrorist attacks that occurred both here in Tunisia and in New York underscore the importance of our continued collaboration to ensure mutual security, which is more critical now than ever before," said Deputy Secretary Sullivan.

The United States looks forward to a growing relationship with Tunisia based of economic growth, security, and shared democratic values.

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