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United Together Against Terrorism in Tunisia

PES_(56_of_55).jpgFollowing two horrific terrorist attacks on Tunisian soil in the last few months, the President of the Party of European Socialists (PES) has today led a delegation of Socialist and Democratic politicians to Tunisia to show support to the Tunisian people and to our sister party Ettakatol.

Sergei Stanishev, PES President said during the visit:

‘We are here to show our support and solidarity with the Tunisian people. They have shown great bravery in the face of the terrorist’s brutality, particularly those exceptional people who shielded tourists and faced the terrorist. We also want to express our sincerest condolences to the families of the victims of these gruesome acts. Together we mourn the victims and together we stand against violence and extremism.’

‘A number of terrorist attacks that have taken place recently - in Tunisia, but also in France and Kuwait - proving that terrorism is a global issue. These unsettling acts affect us all, and we will only eradicate them if we tackle them, and their causes, together. We refuse to be defeated by barbaric groups that brutally slaughter innocent civilians.’

‘Tunisia is the only country that managed to transform into a democracy after the Arab uprisings started there at the end of 2010. The PES supported Tunisia at the time and we are here to show that we will continue to do so. We support all the Tunisian political forces, government and opposition, who are transforming their country and maintaining the rule of law. It is vital this in these difficult moments the correct balance between freedom and security is maintained.’

‘These attacks have touched the heart of Tunisia’s tourism sector, which employs hundreds of thousands of people and contributes a significant amount to Tunisia’s GDP. The risk of job losses poses further threats that this could turn into a vicious cycle. Poverty, social injustice and unemployment can drive people to join extremist groups. They feel disadvantaged, and look for wealth and status elsewhere. We cannot allow this to happen. In our meetings today we discussed how we can work together to address the root causes of the problem and invest in security and employment. In the coming months, the PES will make strong efforts to make sure the Tunisian economy receives adequate support.’ 

The delegation met with the following people:

Prime Minister, Habib Essid

Hussein Abbassi, UGTT Secretary General

Khelil Ezzaouia, Member of the political bureau of Ettakatol

Fethi Bdira, Governor of Sousse

Mustapha Ben Jaafar, President of the Constituent Assembly

The PES delegation consisted of:

Sergei Stanishev, President, PES

Maurice Braud, National Secretary for International, PS, France

Ines Ayala Sander, Member of the European Parliament, PSOE, Spain

Giacomo Filibeck, Deputy Secretary General, PES

Photos are available on the PES Flickr Page

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