Tunisian President Kais Syed said on Monday evening that his country had rejected funds allocated by the European Union to Tunisia, which he said were similar to “mercy” and whose “ridiculous” amount contradicted the agreement reached in July between the two sides, AFP noted. .

Case SaidPhoto: Fethi Belaid/AFP/Profimedia Images

On September 22, the European Commission announced that it will start “rapidly” allocating the funds provided for in the agreement with Tunisia in order to reduce the arrival of migrants from this country.

The Commission specified that of the €105 million in aid provided for in the deal to fight illegal immigration, approximately €42 million will be “rapidly disbursed”, adding to the €24.7 million already planned under current programmes.

“Tunisia, which agrees to cooperate, does not accept anything resembling mercy or goodwill, because our country and our people will not sympathize and will not accept it when it is disrespectful,” he said, according to a presidential press release.

So, Tunisia rejects what was announced in the last few days by the EU,” said Said, who received his foreign minister, Nabil Ammar.

He explained that this refusal “is not because of a small amount (…), but because this proposal is against” the agreement signed in Tunisia and “the spirit that prevailed during the conference in Rome” in July.

According to the European Commission, it will be used in part to rehabilitate boats used by the Tunisian coast guard and to cooperate with international organizations both for the “protection of migrants” and for operations to return these Tunisian exiles to their countries. origin.

This memorandum of understanding between Tunisia and the EU also provides for direct budgetary assistance of €150 million in 2023, while the country faces serious economic difficulties.

Qais Said also added that his country is “doing everything possible to destroy the criminal networks of human traffickers.”

Tunisia, along with Libya, is the main departure point for thousands of migrants crossing the central Mediterranean to Europe and arriving in Italy. (Agerpress)