Lavrov to discuss Middle East, economic ties with Tunisian counterpart

Lavrov to discuss Middle East, economic ties with Tunisian counterpart

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will hold talks with his Tunisian counterpart Khemaies Jhinaoui on Saturday focusing on the state of affairs in the Middle East and North Africa, particularly in the Sahara-Sahel region, in Syria, Yemen, Libya and Lebanon, TASS reports.

The agenda also includes the issues of bilateral relations, including trade and economic ties.

Tunisia plays an important role in Africa and the Arab world in terms of Russian products’ purchases, Moscow has noted. "In 2018, trade turnover with that country amounted to $760 mln (against $511 mln in 2017 - TASS)," the Foreign Ministry said in a commentary prior to Lavrov’s visit. "Russian exports are mainly represented by primary products, though there has emerged a trend of a rising share of processed products. Tunisian imports are mainly represented by agriculture products," the ministry said.

The Russian side has also acknowledged the fact that the work of the intergovernmental commission, which is going to hold another meeting in Tunisia this year, has been quite efficient.

Tourism is a special cooperation area between the two countries. In 2018, 600,000 Russians visited Tunisia, an increase of almost 100,000 compared with the previous year. Moscow "welcomes the efforts of Tunisia’s authorities to ensure proper safety conditions for our citizens," the ministry said, adding that it considers "that issue to be one of top priorities."

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