“I am proud of the good relationship and the real fraternal relationship with Tunisia”

AA/Tunis/Hend Abdessamad

30 years ago, Tunisian-Ukrainian relations were established under a protocol signed in kyiv. The two countries adopted, on December 7, 1993, a joint declaration on the principles of friendly relations and cooperation.

The joint declaration of the principles of friendship and relations of cooperation was adopted on December 7, 1993, between the two countries. Tunisian-Ukrainian cooperation is governed by 6 agreements and protocols, which mainly affect the areas of economy, trade and air transport.

“I am proud of the good cooperation and real fraternal relations in Tunisia,” Ukrainian Ambassador Volodymur Khomanets said in an interview with the Anadolu Agency.

Appointed First Secretary of the Ukrainian Embassy in the United States (2006-2010), then First Adviser to the Ukrainian Embassy in the United Kingdom (2012-2016), Volodymur Khomanets took over the post of Ambassador to kyiv in Tunis on September 22, 2020 Interview.

AA: How has bilateral relations between Tunisia and Ukraine improved since 1992?

  • Today we celebrate this historic day for both countries, we celebrate the thirty years of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Tunisia and Ukraine. I am proud that we have a good partnership and a real brotherly relationship between the two countries. I can describe responsible relationships only in a positive context, so that our relationships are based on a pragmatic and transparent principle.

We have only positive dynamics, and this is, in many fields of cooperation, politics, economy, culture, scientific, education and so on. We want to emphasize these relationships and further develop them in the same positive dynamic.

In what areas should bilateral relations be strengthened?

  • I reaffirm that I am proud that we have a positive dynamics in all areas, especially in trade, where every year trade grows by 5 to 10%. Last year’s trade figures reached half a billion dollars, which is very important for Tunisia, its exports more than doubling. The Ukrainian market is especially interesting for Tunisian entrepreneurs.

In addition to good economic relations, the many cultural events organized in the two countries increased the number of Ukrainian tourists to Tunisia and the number of Tunisian students in Ukraine.

The two countries are fully acquainted with each other, the proof of which is the evolution of the Ukrainian community in Tunisia and the Tunisian community in Ukraine. Having good relations in many places is a good sign, and every year we make new agreements between the two parties.

Six months later, an agreement between the largest university in Ukraine and Tunisia, namely the University of El Manar and the Ukrainian National University, was finalized.

What about the Tunisian students who returned from Ukraine because of the war?

  • About a thousand students in Tunisia continued their studies in Ukraine before the war, now a large part have returned to Tunisia, although the important thing is that they continue to study at a distance.

I was in constant contact with most of them and their parents, who really dreamed of being able to return to Ukraine when the war was over.

I express my full support as a father to his students which I have always thought of. I am really trying to find a solution with the relevant Ukrainian authorities so that they can continue their studies and return to Ukraine.

The number of Tunisian students will definitely increase in the future (after the war) because our education system is better by European standards and a very good price-quality ratio, in addition to the Ukrainian diploma recognized everywhere .

I want to clarify an important point, Tunisian students really want to come back to Ukraine, some of them called me, they even want to come back now. Some have already returned to continue their studies at university.

What is your view on Tunisian-Ukrainian tourism that was first affected by the coronavirus pandemic and then on the current situation in Ukraine?

  • Tunisia is a popular destination for Ukrainian tourists whose number is increasing every year. This dynamic would change after the war, I am convinced, plus we would have direct flights between the two countries that would allow Ukrainian tourists to visit Tunisia even more.

Tunisia boasts a great geographical location, a friend of mine has visited before and she plans to come back to show it to her friends. Because of the war, we no longer had direct flights, some tourists in Ukraine had to pass through Poland or Bulgaria.

Tunisia is the third destination for Ukrainian tourists after Turkey and Egypt. I am sure the number will increase after the war. Ukraine will end this war, democracy will always end in victory.

I promise as ambassador that we are working to maintain good relations with Tunisia in the same positive dynamics. Cultural activities will be further organized and other bilateral agreements will be signed to increase the number of Ukrainian tourists to the Tunisian resort.

I have visited many regions of Tunisia, I have found that each place is distinguished by a very interesting specificity, where each region has its own history, tradition and its own cultural aspects. I have been here for two years and I really like myself here, and so does my family, who even in the summer prefer to spend their holidays in Tunisia. Also, this is the case of my friends in Ukraine who have not stopped talking about how Tunisia is a beautiful country to visit.

Many Ukrainian citizens live here under different governors, once we get to the subject of Tunisia, we can spend many hours talking about the beauty of its regions. I really like living here.

In conclusion, I would like to say that I am truly grateful from the bottom of my heart to the Tunisian people for their support for Ukraine in these difficult times. This is especially important if one democratic country supports another democratic country like Tunisia which supports Ukraine. And as they say “a friend in need is a friend”, Tunisia’s support is a real sign of 30 years of friendship and good relations.

I wish much prosperity and peace to the Tunisian people and above all the preservation of freedom and democracy in Tunisia.

Only part of the dispatch, which is broadcast by the Anadolu Agency to its subscribers through the Internal Broadcasting System (HAS), is broadcast on the AA website, in a summarized manner. Please contact us to subscribe.

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