Tunisia voices great surprise at Italian new Interior Minister’s comments on migration
04/06/2018 21:34, TUNIS/Tunisia

(TAP) - Italian ambassador in Tunis Lorenzo Fanara was summoned on Monday at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where he was conveyed Tunisia’s great surprise at the comments by Italian new Minister of Interior Matteo Salvini.

During a local campaign stop in Sicily on Sunday, Salvini said Tunisia was a free and democratic country that isn't experiencing "wars, epidemics, famines or pestilence." And yet, he continued, Tunisia "isn't exporting gentlemen, it seems more often they're exporting convicts."

In a statement, the ministry stressed that these statements do not reflect the level of co-operation between the two countries in the field of migration.

The Italian interior minister's remark shows a lack of knowledge of the various co-ordination mechanisms established between the Tunisian and Italian services in charge of the fight against irregular migration, said the same source.

The department reaffirms, in its statement, Tunisia’s concern to work with the Italian new government to strengthen the relations of friendship and strategic co-operation between the two countries.

Following the release of the statement, the Italian ambassador contacted the department to convey the clarifications of the Italian minister who instructed him to clarify that his comments were taken out of context.

He affirmed his commitment to develop co-operation with Tunisia in areas under his competence.

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