The two ministers expressed their satisfaction with the relations between Tunisia and Germany since the revolution, and stressed their willingness to further strengthen Tunisian-German cooperation.
While Germany does not have the same close relations with Tunisia as former colonizer France or neighboring Italy, it is the third most active trading partner with the North African country. Germany also recently announced the cancellation of Tunisia’s debt, totaling some 60 million Euros, thereby starting relations on a friendly footing.
This meeting was also an opportunity for Abdessalem to explain to his German counterpart the evolution of the political situation in the country since the elections, and discuss the orientation of the Tunisian government in terms of socio-economic development.
Westerwelle took the opportunity to commend the democratic transition in Tunisia, which he described as a potential model for the region. He reiterated the willingness of Germany to continue its support of Tunisia during the transitional process and agreed with Abdessalem that it was important to enhance the partnership between the countries politically and economically.
Abdessalem also met with Ruprecht Polenz, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Bundestag (the German parliament) and Gunter Gloser, chairman of the Parliamentary Friendship Group with Maghreb Countries.
Abdessalem focused on the needs and expectations of Tunisia with its key partners, particularly Germany, and sought the latter’s commitment to Tunisia.