July 14 celebration: “Our relationship is based on friendship, mutual respect and unity”, said the French ambassador to Tunisia

On the occasion of the holiday on July 14, the French Ambassador to Tunisia, André Parant, and his wife, organized a banquet at the residence of the French Embassy in Tunisia, in La Marsa, in the presence of several guests, French, Franco- Tunisians, Tunisians, Tunisian-French, and so on.

In his speech, he wished “… a warm welcome to this residence in France, witness to more than a century and a half of the relations that unite France and Tunisia…”.

And the diplomat continued: “Thank you for coming to share with us this opportunity to be together and reaffirm our common connection to these universal values ​​of freedom, equality and brotherhood which July 14 is the symbol.

Thank you especially to you, dear friends of Tunisia, for the honor you have given us in your presence. This gathering gives its full meaning and testifies to the strength of the bonds shaped by a turbulent but fruitful history between our two countries and our two peoples. A story where we already have, and tomorrow with our children, to write a new page.

Our relationship is based on friendship, mutual respect and unity, values ​​that are more valuable in these uncertain times.

It is in the test, they say, that we identify our true friends. Faced with the challenges it faces, Tunisia knows it can rely on France, just as France knows how much it owes to Tunisians, yesterday and today.

Today’s challenges are primarily economic and financial. After the Revolution, France’s support for Tunisia’s development increased significantly. More than 2 billion euros have been made since 2011 by the French Development Agency to fund projects in the fields of infrastructure, urban transformation, rural development, access to water and sanitation, vocational training for young people, and so on.

This effort for the benefit of the population of Tunisia is a long one and will therefore continue, completely consistent, of course, with the priorities defined by the Government of Tunisia.

But now, urgency is knocking on the door. Already weakened by delays in reforms, by the consequences of the Libyan crisis and by the attacks of 2015-2016, the Tunisian economy is suffering the weight of the effects of the health crisis. It now adds to the war of aggression waged by Russia against Ukraine, which poses a major threat to supplies of basic goods and to already very weak public finances.

In this context, France stands with Tunisia and the people of Tunisia. This was demonstrated during the health crisis, by providing many vaccines (almost 2 million doses), but also different materials and equipment for Tunisian hospitals.

Together with our partners from the European Union and the G7, we are now mobilized to help Tunisia protect itself as much as possible from the consequences of the crisis in Ukraine, especially in terms of the country’s cereal supply.

Finally, we are ready, together with the same partners, to contribute to the success of the reforms to be undertaken by the Tunisian government. These reforms are at the heart of the negotiations that have just begun with the International Monetary Fund, which we expect to be completed soon.

The challenges to face are political as well. 11 years ago, Tunisians commanded the admiration of the world by boldly expressing their desire for democracy and dignity. The experience left most of them with mixed feelings. We can understand this: there are undoubtedly lessons to be learned from these 11 years, corrective actions to be taken.

But the main thing, like all things, is to stay the course. Because this decade was also one of many democratic achievements; they set an example in the region.

It is up to every country, according to its own history, to invent ways to fulfill this democratic promise.

Democracy has immutable requirements: respect for rights and freedoms, equality among citizens, separation and balance of powers, freedom of justice, a free press, a plural and dynamic civil society.

The road to get there is long and full of traps. It is known in France, which has long covered it. But we also know that this is the only way that, by making every citizen an actor of his or her own destiny, guarantees long-term political stability and economic and social progress. In this way too, if Tunisia wants, and naturally has full respect for its sovereignty, France is on its side, as it has been for the past eleven years, with those who carry this desire and whose commitment I want. salute yourself.

Among the many links that unite Tunisia and France, there is the language. The dialogue between French and Arabic is one of the most bizarre aspects of the mosaic of Tunisian culture. The French are part of the history of Tunisia, in its memory. It is an element of his identity and an asset for the future of his youth.

The Francophonie Summit, in Djerba, in November, will be an opportunity to celebrate our common membership in the famous French -speaking family, and our common closeness to the values ​​on which it is based. France, naturally, will play a full part in the success of this important event, which will put Tunisia at the forefront.

I also want to emphasize the importance we place on education and culture. This is the meaning of the commitment of the French Institute of Tunisia to young people, in Tunis and in the regions. Together with our institutional partners and civil society actors, I want us to do more to promote the emergence of a new generation that is open to the world, seeing French-speaking areas as a horizon. of projects and opportunities.

At a time marked by crises, France and Tunisia also face common challenges. I think of climate emergencies and ecological shifting. This threat knows no boundaries. It calls for global solutions. In this area too, our two countries can and should act together.

Finally, before this great assembly, I would like to express my pride in representing my fellow citizens here in Tunisia. This party is theirs.

My dear fellow citizens, some of you have been here a long time and some have passed; some of you are also of the same nationality as our two nationalities, like a bridge between our two shores. What unites us is a common connection to France. But I also know how much you love this country that welcomes you, or sees you born. And I know how much you appreciate living there, and how sensitive you are to the hospitality of our hosts in Tunisia, to the beauty of the country, to the richness of its culture.

Like the Tunisians in France, you are the living link between our two countries. A bond that everyone, in their own way, where they live, where they work, tries to strengthen, every day. I am so grateful to you. ”

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