Home » Meloni with the EU in Tunis, the green light is sought for repatriations – World

Meloni with the EU in Tunis, the green light is sought for repatriations – World

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Meloni with the EU in Tunis, the green light is sought for repatriations – World

No reform of the Migration Pact will lead to a real turning point without the side of the North African countries. It is with this conviction that Ursula von der Leyen, Giorgia Meloni and Martk Rutte will land in Tunis for a crucial meeting for the stability of the Mediterranean, the one with President Kais Saied. Two prime ministers and the president of the Commission, one goal: to cash in on Tunisia’s full cooperation on migrants. It will not be easy.

Indeed, it will be very difficult. But the three European leaders have a double joker to play: an investment package to be put in place quickly and the diplomatic work to unblock the 1.9 billion dollar aid that the International Monetary Fund, in the face of Saied’s resistance to reforms, has so far stalled.

In Brussels, to give a title to the trio that will travel to the presidential palace in Carthage, they used the term Team Europe. Indeed, the Tunisian dossier is more than ever a priority on European tables. The agreement on the new Pact on migration and asylum signed in Luxembourg, in addition to being already rather precarious, has a key point within it: the possibility of repatriating migrants not only to their countries of origin but also to “safe” transit countries “. Saied’s yes would be a turning point for the sobbing EU repatriation strategy. And for Italy, par excellence the country of first port of call for those setting sail from Tunisia, the success would be double. Sunday’s mission – agreed on the sidelines of the European Political Community summit last week – represents a clear step forward for Meloni. Rome was the first to bring the Tunisian dossier to the tables in Brussels, explaining that an economic and political crisis in the country would have very serious consequences on migration. The European mission shows that it has been listened to.

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Meloni will return to Tunis just five days after his first meeting with Saied. Together with von der Leyen and Rutte, he will outline a package of support for President Saied ranging from local investments by European companies to the fight against illegal trafficking of migrants, up to energy cooperation. On this last point, relations between Rome and Tunis have already made a leap forward, with the Elmed electrical interconnector project, the installation of which will be handled by the Italian Terna. Then there is the issue of IMF aid, more than ever uphill. But if up until a couple of months ago the EU explained that it would only give its support after an agreement between Tunis and the Fund, now the strategy could change and see Brussels act autonomously.

Italy is moving on several fronts. From Sunday, Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani will be on a mission to the USA and the Tunisian dossier will be among the priority topics. The head of the Farnesina will have bilateral talks with the director general of the IMF Kristalina Georgieva, to whom he will reiterate the urgency of an agreement with Tunis. Of course, on the other side there is Kais Saied and the accusations, in Tunisia and beyond, of the authoritarian turn in the country.

A turning point which culminated in the arrest last April of Rached Ghannouchi, leader of the Islamic party Ennhahda. The Tunisian president is not the man to tell them and, in recent days, he has already said ‘no’ to any “dikitat from abroad”. In the meeting in Carthage, however, it is not excluded that von der Leyen raises one of the main issues in relations with Tunisia, that of protecting the rights of migrants stranded in the North African country. It is no coincidence that the Tunisian Observatory on Migration has recently underlined the government’s commitment to the issue of rights and alignment with international law. But, on the treatment of migrants, accusations are already flocking in Italy and in Europe. “Tunisia and Libya are authoritarian regimes, enough with the cynical propaganda”, underlined the secretary of the Italian Left, Nicola Fratoianni.

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