JAKARTA, 27 November 2015 – H.E. M’hammed Ezzine Chelaifa, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs of Tunisia, visited the ASEAN Secretariat yesterday and met with the Deputy Secretary-General for ASEAN Political-Security Community Department H.E. Hirubalan V P.

DSG Hirubalan expressed condolences on behalf of the ASEAN Secretariat to the victims of the recent terrorist attacks in Tunisia, highlighting that terrorism and violent extremism pose a serious threat to the global community. He also used the opportunity to congratulate Tunisia on the Nobel Peace Prize recently awarded to the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet. H.E. Chelaifa explained the current political, security and economic developments in Tunisia, and expressed interest in forging cooperation with ASEAN in combating the extremist threat. He noted that closer international cooperation including sharing of information was needed to address such threat.

Further, DSG Hirubalan shared recent developments in ASEAN focusing on the recently concluded 27th ASEAN Summit held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, last week. The importance of this particular Summit was highlighted as it marked the formal launch of the ASEAN Community by the ASEAN Leaders who also adopted the ASEAN 2025: Forging Ahead Together. This Vision 2025 document reaffirmed ASEAN’s commitment to realize further consolidation and integration over the next decade.

H.E. Chelaifa conveyed Tunisia’s interest in exploring practical cooperation with ASEAN in areas such as non-traditional security including counter terrorism as well as in trade, investment and business cooperation, among others. He believed that closer cooperation with ASEAN and ASEAN Member States would facilitate Tunisia’s efforts to regain investors’ confidence in the country. Noting that the current trade figures were on the low side, he looked forward to working with ASEAN to keep the ASEAN business community informed of the economic opportunities in Tunisia. H.E. Chelaifa added that Tunisia as well as the Arab Maghreb Union, of which Tunisia is a member, could benefit from better understanding ASEAN experiences and work processes, in particular ASEAN’s approaches to political stability, regional cooperation and economic progress.

Tunisia and the ASEAN Secretariat agreed to discuss further possibilities to strengthen cooperation between both sides including practical arrangements for mutual benefit and progress.