National Interest Supremacy: Nabil Ammar’s Press Conference

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will organize a “national skills conference” on August 6 and 7 in Tunis as part of a new participatory approach, aimed at channeling and empowering all Tunisian skills abroad around national development.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Migration and Tunisians Abroad, Nabil Ammar, held a periodic press conference with the national press yesterday. In addition to the topic of the day, which concerns preparations for the return of Tunisians residing abroad (TRE), during this summer period, the minister addressed the issue of the latest European statements, in particular that of Josef Borrell, outgoing head of European diplomacy, who described Tunisia’s rapprochement with the China-Russia-Iran axis as worrying. Ammar could not have been clearer in his response, recalling the foundations of the diplomatic work of an entire country, indicating that any country has the independence of its national choices in terms of bilateral or multilateral cooperation.

The Minister stressed that Tunisia is not distancing itself from any country or current partner, and has the free choice to strengthen its diplomatic and economic relations to what corresponds to its national interests, nothing else. Ammar alluded to certain parties that revive Mr. Borrell’s position, motivated in this by personal or economic interests that risk being lost… The head of Tunisian diplomacy, mastering his subject, did not mince his words.

National Conference of Skills, August 6 and 7
To return to the return of the TRE, the Minister stressed that his department is in the process of implementing a set of actions aimed at establishing a new participatory dynamic for Tunisian nationals established abroad. “We will bring together the Tunisian skills involved in a “National Conference of Skills” which will take place on August 6 and 7 in Tunis. This initiative represents a participatory approach and not assistance. This is because our ministry, through officials, ambassadors, consuls and staff, is making every effort to facilitate adequate services for our compatriots and respond to their various requests. This work includes synchronization with the various national departments in order to achieve better care,” explains Nabil Ammar, who reaffirmed the priority given to TRE by his department and the interest shown in them by the President of the Republic himself. He added: “This conference is part of a participatory approach aimed at channeling the positive and committed energy of our compatriots residing abroad and wanting to serve the national cause, rather than narrow personal or professional interests. These are skills that are evolving everywhere as free electrons and by channeling them with the aim of serving the homeland, Tunisia will gain enormously. This conference should bring them together to collect their ideas and make things evolve in order to materialize the best ideas in order to serve national objectives, such as narrow development. This opportunity will allow them to network among Tunisians, which could be the subject of a database of skills resident abroad, with people who agree to be included. It is a selfless commitment on their part that will have only the national interest as a common thread,” he concludes.

Securing national maritime borders

Furthermore, and raising the issue of securing Tunisian maritime borders and the latest controversies raised around a so-called give-and-take with Italy or the European Union, the minister stressed that Tunisia does not play the role of coastguard for anyone, and that it only serves its national sovereignty.

As a reminder, a whole file was indeed presented by the Tunisian Navy for approval at the 11th regional meeting of the International Maritime Organization, IMO, which was held the third week of this month in the United Kingdom, and this, to delimit the perimeter under Tunisian responsibility in matters of maritime search and rescue.

Tunisia has remained until now the only country in the Mediterranean that has not delimited the perimeters of its intervention in such cases of shipwrecks and other rescue operations and securing the national maritime perimeter. Also, Decree No. 181 dated April 1, 2024, included, among other things, the creation of the “National Center for the Coordination of Maritime Search and Rescue Operations”.

The National Center, under the coast guard of the national navy, was thus created to coordinate the various actions relating to search and rescue at sea, with the various departments. It sets out the vicissitudes of intervention operations, in addition to those of coastal surveillance in order to be able to intervene in time to save boats, planes or people in danger off the Tunisian coast. Nabil Ammar did not hesitate to reaffirm the absolute supremacy of the national interest, free from procrastination here and there, and stressed that none of Tunisia’s partner countries or international organizations have criticized Tunisia’s choices in this matter.

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