Renewed energy in Egypt-Tunisia relations: Marzouki at post-summit presser

Ahram Online, Nada Hussein Rashwan, Friday 13 Jul 2012

Bilateral relations and the Arab Spring are top of the agenda at President Morsi's first presidential summit with Tunisian head of state Moncef Marzouki

Marzouki & Morsi
Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki, left, and Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, right, speak to reporters during a joint news conference at the Presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, July 13, 2012. (Photo: AP)

Egypt and Tunisia will be as "integrated as the European Union" following reinvigorated relations between the two Arab countries, Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki said at his first meeting with newly-elected Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, Friday.

Marzouki stated in a joint news conference that the relationship between Egypt and Tunisia had been "rigid for a long time" but renewed energy now meant greater cooperation benefiting both countries.

"All channels of political communication between Egypt and Tunisia will be open for consultation on matters of concern to the Arab world," Morsi said in response.

Accompanied by a diplomatic delegation, Marzouki opened his two-day visit to Cairo with the Egyptian-Tunisian summit, the first to be hosted by Egypt's newly-elected president since his inauguration.

Top of the meeting’s agenda was the current situation in the Arab Spring countries, as well as the Palestinian cause.

Morsi began by denouncing the bloodshed in Syria but added that "We [Tunisia and Egypt] do not accept military intervention."

Speaking about Palestine, Morsi emphasised that both nations "stand at equal distance from all Palestinian factions" while confirming their joint-support for the "Palestinian right to self-determination and establishing an independent state."

The relationship between Egypt and the Palestinian Hamas government has been subject to much speculation after Morsi, a figure in Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, won the elections as Hamas initially evolved from the Islamist group.  

"Libya has now recovered and is holding elections and managing their affairs consensually," Morsi continued, emphasising the importance of the north African country in the Tunisian-Egyptian partnership.

"Libya is in our hearts," Morsi concluded.

The Tunisian uprising toppled ex-president Zein El-Abdine Ben Ali on 14 January, 2011. Liberal figure Marzouki was voted president by the members of the Tunisian Constituent Assembly who were elected in October 2011.

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