German and French Interior Ministers Work with Tunisia on Combating Illegal Immigration and Smuggling

news 20-Jun-2023 Africa

German and French Ministers Visit Tunisia to Boost Cooperation on Migration

German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser has visited Tunisia to strengthen cooperation on migration matters. During meetings with Tunisian President Kais Saied and Interior Minister Kamel Feki, Faeser discussed establishing legal pathways for migration to combat illegal immigration and smugglers. She traveled to Tunisia along with her French counterpart, Gérald Darmanin, who announced that France will provide €25.8 million ($30.6 million) in aid for the training and equipment of border control authorities in Tunisia.

Faeser visited the German police project office in Tunis, which assists the Tunisian National Guard and border police with training and equipment to fight irregular migration with support worth €30 million ($35.5 million) between 2015 and 2022. Faeser also visited the German-Tunisian job counseling center for migrant returnees. The counseling center, established by the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) in 2017, aims to provide opportunities in the Tunisian job market for returnees and provide information about legal migration pathways.

Tunisia is a significant transit country for migrants leaving Africa and crossing the Mediterranean to reach the European Union. Recently, various European countries have increased their pressure on Tunisia. In June, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte visited Tunisia to negotiate a migration deal. Von der Leyen pledged up to €900 million ($1.06 billion) in European aid and an additional €150 million ($177 million) in budgetary assistance. The EU has also pledged €100 million ($118 million) for border management and search and rescue operations in Tunisia this year.

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