Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2011-02-02-Speech-3-191-000"

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"The first foreign visit which the new Tunisian Prime Minister made was to the European Union. Baroness Catherine Ashton welcomed the PM and it was clearly appreciated that the EU was the venue for his first foreign visit. The choice in itself is important since the Tunisian PM wanted to give a clear message of the path he wishes his country to take. The EU stands for democracy, the rule of law, respect for human rights and fundamental principles. It stands for stability and security, in this case in the Mediterranean region. Tunisia is one of Malta’s closest North African neighbours. What happens during this transitional period is not only important for my country but also for the region. Considered a moderate state, I am optimistic that Tunisia’s foreign policy will continue in the same direction. Also I am hopeful that its domestic situation will improve. It is important that the EU is visible in its various aid and development programmes which can be addressed to Tunisia. Countries which embrace democratic values and contribute to stability and security in a region must be appreciated for their endeavours. That is why it is vital that the EU illustrates this appreciation both visibly and tangibly."@en1

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