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Ali Larayedh says Tunisia gets EUs privileged partnership

(with photo) BRUSSELS, June 25 (KUNA) -- The President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, met here Tuesday the interim Tunisian Prime Miniser, Ali Larayedh, and discussed bilateral ties, Tunisia's democratic political process, elections, economic development and security issues.
"Improving the climate between Tunisian political parties, among others in the national dialogue is a fundamental step that should be continued and strengthened with the approval of the new constitution and the holding of future elections," Barroso told reporters after the meeting.
He said that the EU is ready to send an Election Observation Mission to provide technical assistance and support to Tunisia.
Barroso announced that Tunisia will remain the primary beneficiary this year of the EUs SPRING programme that is designed to support the progress made by Arab Spring countries in democratic transition.
Tunisia will receive 40 million euro in addition to 400 million euro committed in 2011-2013 under the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument, he said.
On his part, Ali Larayedh told reporters that "the EU is committed to the success of the democratic transition in Tunisia, the holding of elections, the approval of a new constitution, the consensus among Tunisians".
"I thanked the EU for its cooperation and assistance, whether financial, technical, economic and security," he said.
"Tunisia has got the status of privileged partner of the EU. The negotiations are ongoing focussed on trade, security, mobility of people between the EU and Tunisia. These talks are progressing and will soon lead to an agreement," he added.
The Tunisian Premier also met the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy and will later today speak at the European Parliaments foreign affairs committee. (end) nk.tg KUNA 251533 Jun 13NNNN