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US official presses Tunisia’s Saied on need for ‘swift return’ to democratic path

Sullivan reiterated that the US “and other friends of the Tunisian people” stood ready to help the country move toward “a secure, prosperous, and democratic future.”

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A senior Biden official told Tunisia’s President Kais Saied in a phone call Saturday that the North African country needed to outline a “swift return” to a democratic path.

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan spoke to Saied for an hour-long discussion, according to a statement from the White House.

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“In an hour-long discussion, he conveyed President Biden’s strong support for the people of Tunisia and for Tunisian democracy based on fundamental rights, strong institutions, and a commitment to the rule of law,” the statement read.

The call came nearly a week after Saied dismissed the country’s prime minister and suspended parliament for 30 days while also ordering investigations into corruption and illegal funding of political parties.

With the latest turmoil in Tunisia, fears have grown that the situation could spiral out of control and result in violence.

Sullivan’s call focused “on the critical need for Tunisian leaders to outline a swift return to Tunisia’s democratic path.

“National Security Advisor Sullivan underscored that this would require rapidly forming a new government, led by a capable prime minister to stabilize Tunisia’s economy and confront the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as ensuring the timely return of the elected parliament,” the White House said.

Sullivan reiterated that the US “and other friends of the Tunisian people” stood ready to help the country move toward “a secure, prosperous, and democratic future.”

Read more: Tunisia’s Kais Saied calls on banks to reduce interest rates