Obama Announces U.S. Intent to Provide Loan Guarantee Worth U.S. $ 500 Million for Tunisia

Washington — U.S. President Barack Obama received, Friday afternoon in the Oval Office at the White House, caretaker Prime Minister Mehdi Jomâa, at the end of a four-day official visit.

In a joint statement before the talk between the two presidents in the Oval Office with attendance of U.S. vice President Joe Biden, President Obama announced the Administration's intent to provide a second loan guarantee for $ 500 million (795 Million dinars), to facilitate Tunisia's access to international capital markets.

President Obama reasserted the U.S. support to the Tunisian people and the country's efforts towards economic prosperity, the establishment of a strong civil society, the consecration of the rights of women and youths, as well as the establishment of democracy.

He lauded Tunisia's effort to advance its democracy after the Revolution of January 14, 2011, as well as the "great work" accomplished through the adoption of a progressive constitution that protects the rights of all its citizens.

Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa, he added, had a great work to do to ensure the organisation of elections, boost economy and pledge to continue political reforms.

Obama also underlined the "excellent" ties of co-operation between the American government and the Tunisian government.

In turn, interim Prime Minister Mehdi Jomâa said it was an honour to meet President Obama.

"I take this opportunity to express Tunisia's thanks for the personal support of President Obama to the emerging democracy in Tunisia, he said.

Tunisia and the USA have a shared vision as regards the future of their relations and the firm will to materialise them into actions, further underlined Jomâa commending the launching, Thursday, of the strategic dialogue between Tunisia and the United States of America which lays the bases of a sustained partnership for the two sides' mutual interests.

He added :"I firmly believe that we can work together to advance the mutual interest in the different fields of co-operation including, in particular, the support to the transition process, strengthening institutions and restoration of the state authority."

He also underlined the need to explore additional ideas for building a more robust bilateral trade and investment relationship and for liberalizing the exchange of goods and services, he went on saying.

The Tunisian people highly appreciate the support of President Obama to the Tunisian Revolution and the transition process, he said.

We promise the Tunisian people to meet their aspirations for a better future, economic progress, reduction of poverty, job creation and promotion of the citizens' living conditions, he concluded.

Credit: Tunis Afrique Presse (Tunis)