German Foreign Minister met new Tunisian president

Germany today on Diplomacy Pakistan News
HANDOUT - German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (R) shakes hands with Tunisian President Kais Saied during their meeting. Photo: Florian Gaertner/photothek/dpa

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas continued his North African trip on Monday with a stop in Tunis, where he met new Tunisian President Kais Saied.

The former law professor won the presidential run-off on October 13 by a landslide and was sworn in less than a week ago. Maas is the first high-ranking Western official to meet Saied since then. The 61-year-old Saied succeeds Beji Caid Essebsi, who died in July.

The brief visit is to be devoted to the issue of building up ties between Germany and Tunisia, officials say. Germany is already one of the most important donors in support of the young Tunisian democracy, which after the “Arab Spring” of 2011 has introduced comprehensive democratic reforms.

Maas began his North Africa tour on Sunday with a surprise visit to civil war-torn Libya. Berlin aims to become more strongly involved in seeking a solution and is planning to hold a Libya summit in Berlin. Libay is one of the focal points for illegal migration from Africa to Europe.

After his Tunis visit, Maas is to travel on to Egypt later Monday. On Tuesday he is to meet Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.

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