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Saudi Arabia pledges to provide support for Tunisia: Tunisian presidency

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Saudi Arabia pledged on Sunday to provide assistance to Tunisia, which is suffering a political, economic and health crisis, the Tunisian presidency said on Sunday, the latest sign of support for President Kais Saied against his Islamist opponents.

Saudi State Minister for African Affairs Ahmed Abdul Aziz Kattan met Saied in Tunis and senior officials held talks afterward to discuss cooperation, the presidency said in a statement.

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Saied last month dismissed his prime minister, froze parliament and assumed executive authority in a sudden intervention that his Islamist opponents have labeled a coup but that he said was necessary to save the country from collapse.

The statement did not give any details of the assistance that could be provided by Saudi Arabia, which has reiterated that it supports Saied's decisions aimed at protecting the country.

Tunisia is struggling with an unprecedented fiscal deficit, which reached 11.4 percent last year.

It is also on the verge of bankruptcy, needing at least $3 billion this year to pay off foreign debts and the wages of hundreds of thousands of employees in the public sector.