Foreign Minister Khemaies Jhinaoui said that “Tunisia and Egypt are the most affected countries by the crises in the Arab region, including the situation in Libya.”
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, who chaired Tuesday the opening, with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Chokri, of the 13th session of the Tunisian-Egyptian consultation committee, said that the consolidation of relations between the two countries “serves the causes of the countries of the region “, considering that” it is not possible to turn the back on the repercussions of the crises in the Arab region “.
“The meeting of the consultative Committee is a good opportunity to discuss many of the current Arab issues and to take stock of bilateral relations, ways to strengthen them and consolidate coordination on major issues,” he added.
Khemaies Jhinaoui commended “the resumption of the dynamics of bilateral relations thanks to the will of Presidents Beji Caid Essebsi and Abdelfateh Essisi and their determination to strengthen cooperation between the two countries.”
At a news briefing held at the end of the meeting, the Minister of Foreign Affairs said that “the session discussed a number of international and regional issues, including the Libyan crisis.
He stressed in this regard that “the meeting of Libya’s neighbours, held recently in Cairo, was unanimous on the importance of a political solution in Libya, the rejection of any military solution and the call for Libyans to find a consensus “.
“It was also agreed on the need to support the role of the UN in seeking any agreement between the Libyans,” he added.
Jhinaoui noted that “Tunisia is since 2011 the ally of Libya not of any Libyan protagonist”, reminding that “the meetings held by the Libyan officials in Tunisia and the efforts deployed by Egypt and Algeria in this framework aims to help the Libyans and encourage them to dialogue and understanding “.
On the situation in Palestine, the Foreign minister said the meeting “highlighted the importance of the Tunisian-Egyptian consultations to support the Palestinians’ chances of regaining their right to an independent state.”
As regards the Astana meeting on Syria, Jhinaoui said the two sides “discussed this issue and the possibility of establishing a ceasefire and encouraging dialogue to overcome discrepancies.”
“Relations with Europe, the international situation and the position to be taken on developments and to defend the interests of Tunisia and Egypt were also on the agenda of the session,” said Jhinaoui.
The minister also pointed out that the two countries are preparing for the joint committee meeting, scheduled for the first half of 2017.
In this connection, he stressed that emphasis was placed on intensifying bilateral consultation in all fields, including ambassadors and senior officials as well as relations between businessmen and the preparation of agreements which will be ready to be signed during the work of the Committee.
For his part, the Egyptian Foreign Minister voiced, at the opening of the meeting, “satisfaction at the efforts and actions carried out in common”, wishing to strengthen relations in all fields.
Sameh Chokri stressed, on the other hand “the need to work to alleviate the suffering of the Libyan people”, hailing in this respect “Tunisia for its efforts to help the Libyans and to open dialogue between them on its territory in order to reach a solution of understanding taking into account the interests of all the protagonists and leading to stability in Libya “.
“Securing of borders with Libya and the fight against the infiltration of terrorist organisations require the strengthening of security cooperation and intelligence,” he said.
At the meeting with the press, the Egyptian minister stressed “the concordance of the Tunisian and Egyptian views on the challenges faced by the two countries”, considering that this agreement “strengthens the mechanisms of political consultation at all levels”.
“The Libyan case is focus of a common analysis and a convergence of views on the need to see this country regain stability,” said Sameh Chokri, denying the existence of a divergence of positions of Tunisia and Egypt on this issue.