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RF foreign minister to discuss Mideast settlement with Tunisian colleague

March 04, 2014, 7:11 UTC+3 TUNIS
1 pages in this article

TUNIS, March 04, /ITAR-TASS/. Political processes in Tunisia, the situation in Syria, Libya, the Middle East settlement will be discussed here on Tuesday by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov with his Tunisian counterpart Mongi Hamdi.

“The issues of Russian-Tunisian bilateral relations will be high on the agenda,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said. “The sides will consider issues of strengthening the political dialogue between the two countries, intensification of interaction with Tunisia in international venues, including the United Nations.”

Lavrov and Hamdi will discuss the political process in Tunisia in the light of the new constitution recently adopted in the country, the situation in North Africa and the Middle East, including Syria. The agenda of the talks also includes bilateral relations, which include the development of trade, economic, scientific, technical and cultural co-operation, as well as tourism.

In addition, the ministers will pay significant attention to expanding trade and economic co-operation. Tunisia is one of Russia’s major trade partners in the Arab world. “Despite the fact that the mutual trade volume in 2013 somewhat dropped and amounted to slightly more than 680 million U.S. dollars, we expect to significantly improve this indicator this year,” the Russian Foreign Ministry noted. “In this connection, the next - fifth session of the bilateral intergovernmental commission on trade-economic and scientific-technical co-operation, whose task is to determine the main vectors for further bilateral co-operation, planned for May in Tunisia, is of special importance.”

According to the RF Foreign Ministry, “about 300 thousand Russian tourists visited Tunisia in 2013, which is 20 percent more than in 2012.” “At the same time, our undisputable priority is the security of Russian citizens. We hope that the Tunisian authorities will continue to take all the necessary measures to this end,” the ministry said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry noted the high dynamics of Russian-Tunisian cultural ties. “An additional impetus to this cooperation was given by the Days of Russian Culture held in Tunis in 2013,” the ministry said. “We call for the further development of bilateral co-operation in this field.”

Russia “welcomes the peaceful nature of the transformations undergoing in the Republic of Tunisia through a broad national dialogue.” “We reaffirm our solidarity with the friendly Tunisian people, our support to the fundamental transformations held in Tunisia,” the Russian Foreign Ministry stressed. “We are ready to assist this process both in the bilateral format and within the framework of collective efforts, including in the context of the implementation of the ‘Deauville Partnership’ programme.

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