Arab News – The Kingdom signed several investment, aid and loan agreements with Tunisia in Riyadh on Tuesday, covering the military, transport and energy sectors.
The pacts were signed after Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman met with Tunisia’s President Beji Caid Essebsi for talks at Al-Yamamah palace in Riyadh, according to SPA.
They discussed initiatives to boost bilateral relations, followed by officials signing a MoU and three agreements. The memorandum in the field of civil protection and civil defense was co-signed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif and Tunisian Defense Minister Farhat Horchani.
A loan agreement between the Saudi Fund for Development and the Tunisian Ministry of Development, Investment and International Cooperation to finance the construction of a power station in Tunisia was co-signed by Minister of Finance Ibrahim Al-Assaf and Tunisian Minister of Finance Salim Shaker.
A cooperation agreement to regulate the transport of persons and goods by road was co-signed by Minister of Transport Abdullah Al-Muqbil and Shaker.
Meanwhile, Essebsi praised the Kingdom for forming the anti-terror alliance and said it has military, religious, political and cultural importance for Arab and Muslim countries, at a time when they are facing several challenges.
It was important because it would help silence those trying to distort the message of Islam, and those accusing Arab and Muslim countries of failing to fight terrorism, he was quoted as saying by the SPA.
Essebsi said Tunisia was one of the first nations that joined the alliance because of the problems it was having for years with terror attacks on its soil.
On Saudi-Tunisian relations, Essebsi said the two countries have enjoyed longstanding relations since the reign of the late King Abdulaziz, and hoped that there would be more initiatives to deepen these ties.
He thanked the Kingdom for remaining a leading supporter of the Tunisian economy, and said the country was open to all investors from the Middle East and elsewhere.
Referring to developments in Arab countries, he said leaders of these nations must take into consideration rapidly changing conditions on the ground and deal with them positively.
Referring to the situation in his country, Essebsi said conditions remained fragile because of difficult economic times, and internal and external security threats, particularly from Libya.
He called on friendly and sisterly countries, notably Saudi Arabia, to help Tunis face up to its economic challenges, so that it can provide jobs for its citizens, and deal with the threat of terrorism.