Embassy of France reacts to controversy over remarks by new ambassador of France to Tunisia
15/09/2016 21:24, TUNIS/Tunisia

(TAP) - "Asked in RTL on August 30 by a French journalist about the security climate that weighs on Tunisia as in France, Olivier Poivre d'Arvor, the newly appointed France's ambassador in Tunis reminded one of the main tasks of embassies and consulates abroad, namely the permanent concern about the safety of citizens registered as French nationals. In Tunisia, their security is guaranteed and ensured daily by the Tunisian authorities, with whom dialogue is constant and cooperation is excellent," the Embassy of France which was contacted by TAP said on Thursday evening.

These clarifications intervene amid the controversy aroused by the recent remarks by the new ambassador of France to Tunisia.

The Embassy added that "during the same interview, Olivier Poivre d'Arvor obviously focused on other axes which will guide his action in accordance with the instructions of the President of the Republic and the priorities set out in consultation with Tunisian authorities ".

According to the Embassy of France, Olivier Poivre d'Arvor "notably mentioned support for the consolidation of democracy in Tunisia, economic partnership and development, cultural cooperation or education assistance. It is the breadth and diversity of the French-Tunisian cooperation that make the relation exceptional, according to the term used by Olivier Poivre d'Arvor himself, which makes France the leading partner of Tunisia. "

On social networks, Tunisians have called the remarks "diplomatic slippage".

"Mr. Ambassador thank you for your feelings towards my country Tunisia, but about the security of French nationals in Tunisia, it is ensured by the Tunisian authorities. Your main mission is to convey to your government the expectations of a country that had thought to count on its first partner for a successful democratic transition. "

Speaking to the French ambassador, they believe that "the alarming security comments are not likely to reassure the French tourists."

For their part, online media, titled, in particular, "The funny priorities of Olivier Poivre d'Arvor," "The new Ambassador of France is wrong on all the line", "Olivier Poivre d'Arvor: Tunisia is a provider of jihadists. "

They point to a "funny confusion for a diplomat who seems unaware of the scope of the Tunisian-French relations and particularly the great importance of cooperation component and economic partnership, science and culture", considering also that "such diplomatic mistakes are flagrant."

The French Embassy said that "pending the presentation of his credentials to the President of the Republic of Tunisia, marking the official start of his mission as ambassador of France in Tunisia, and meeting the authorities, the press and Tunisian media, Olivier Poivre d'Arvor is already working with his teams for the preparation of two major events. The first (...) is the Tunisia Conference 2020 that France co-sponsors, which should result in increasing the international support for Tunisia. The second is the holding of the first French-Tunisian high council. "

Olivier Poivre d'Arvor, who was appointed ambassador of France in Tunisia in July, took office on Saturday, September 10, 2016. He takes over from François Gouyette, who went to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.


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