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Minister Hoxhaj meets Prime Minister of Tunisia, Hamadi Jebali

Tunis, 18 January 2013 – Continuing his official visit to Tunisia, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kosovo, met the Prime Minister of Tunisia, Hamadi Jebali and Rashid al-Ghannushi, the leader of En-Nahda, the biggest Tunisian parliamentary party.

During the meeting in the government cabinet with Prime Minister Jebali, Minister Hoxhaj expressed his admiration for the cause and sacrifice of the Prime Minister against the regime of Ben Ali, saying that “Kosovo’s people and institutions have closely followed your suffering and struggle for freedom, dignity and democracy”.

Hoxhaj also emphasized that he is impressed with Tunisia’s vision and quick development and the country’s recovery toward a sustainable and pluralist transition.

“The Arab Spring which started in Tunisia had a great echo across the region, so I am happy to see up close the potential of your country”, said Hoxhaj, in the meeting.

Minister Hoxhaj gave Prime Minister Jebali a formal request from the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Hashim Thaçi, for recognition of the Republic of Kosovo by Tunisia, which the Tunisian Prime Minister received with pleasure.

Hoxhaj stressed that Kosovo’s independence is the aspiration and will of a people that has passed through many challenges and which the Arab world should value and not delay in taking action about its relations with Kosovo.

The Prime Minister of Tunisia, Hamadi Jebali, said that his country had no problem which would stop it from recognizing Kosovo’s statehood.

Both shared the belief that establishing diplomatic relations between the two states would start a new period of relations between the two peoples, which would serve as a good base to advance economic, cultural, educational and touristic cooperation.

Prime Minister Jebali made a statement to the media in which he openly discussed Tunisia’s official affirmative position toward Kosovo.

Kosovo’s Foreign Minister, Enver Hoxhaj, met with the leader of the En-Nahda Party, Rashid al-Ghannushi, the biggest parliamentary party in Tunisia.

During the friendly meeting, they exchanged shared views about the need for Tunisia to recognize Kosovo as soon as possible.

The En-Nahda party enjoys great political power in the country and holds various government posts, including the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Minister Hoxhaj congratulated the leader Ghannushi on Tunisia’s success and achievement in overthrowing an authoritarian regime and expressed his appreciation, on behalf of the Government and people of Kosovo.

He said that overthrowing the former regime had created a unique opportunity for Kosovo’s recognition and the creation of conditions for mutual cooperation, whereas the lack of recognition had created obstructions and barriers between the two peoples.

The leader of the En-Nahda party, Rashid al-Ghannushi, stressed his admiration for the cause of Kosovo’s people for freedom and independence and he clarified that recognition of Kosovo would have occurred earlier, but that internal problems with the transition had not allowed this decision to be taken before.

He made it clear that Kosovo’s recognition was just a small step that Tunisia could make in building new bilateral relations after the fall of the old regime, stressing that he would encourage the Government and Presidency to formalize recognition as soon as possible.

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