TUNIS – France’s President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday that the Arab Spring which broke out in Tunisia in 2011 had not yet concluded.
In a speech before the Tunisian parliament, Macron insisted the North African country was a model to follow, since despite its difficulties, Tunisia had carried out a profound cultural revolution, installing democracy and expanding freedoms.
Speaking to a large group of deputies as well as the president of the parliament, Mohamed Ennaceur, Macron stressed that the Arab Spring lived on through Tunisians.
The French president underlined the progress made in areas such as press freedom and freedom of expression, as well as the progress promised in equality between men and women.
He said that Tunisia had managed to establish a civil state that many thought was impossible.
In line with this argument, Macron reminded Tunisians that as a nation they had an enormous responsibility because the Arab world watched and waited to see if the country would be successful.
Macron arrived on Wednesday on his first official visit to the North African country with the aim of supporting Tunisia’s democratic transition, threatened by an acute economic crisis, and fighting against irregular migration from Africa to Europe.
This was expressed by Macron himself after he landed in the capital and met with his Tunisian counterpart Beji Caid Essebsi.
Macron said the visit aimed to further strengthen Franco-Tunisian cooperation.
This cooperation was embodied in agreements based on: security, justice and defense; joint business relationships; cooperation in higher education and cultural cooperation.