Sullivan Tells Tunisian President His Country Needs 'Honest Governance'
01:20 GMT 01.08.2021 (Updated: 12:56 GMT 01.08.2021)
© REUTERS / LEAH MILLISWhite House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan takes questions during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., June 7, 2021.
© REUTERS / LEAH MILLIS
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan has spoken with Tunisian President Kais Saied amid a political crisis in Tunisia, the White House said.
"In an hour-long discussion, he conveyed [US] President [Joe] 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. In this spirit, the call focused on the critical need for Tunisian leaders to outline a swift return to Tunisia's democratic path", the White House said on Saturday.
According to Washington, Tunisia must swiftly form a new government that will first be capable of stabilising the economic situation in the country and additionally address the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.
During Saturday's talks, Sullivan said Tunisians need improved standards of living and "honest governance" and added that the US is ready to help Tunisia "move toward a secure, prosperous, and democratic future".
Earlier this week, Saied appointed a former national security adviser, Ridha Gharsalloui, as acting interior minister amid the ongoing political crisis in the country. The appointment follows mass anti-government protests that erupted in the country's capital of Tunis at the end of July.
Saied dismissed Prime Minister Hicham Mechichi, and froze parliament for 30 days, suspending immunity for all lawmakers. The president said on July 25th that he was assuming executive authority with the assistance of a new prime minister, who is yet to be appointed.
On Monday, Ennahda, the largest political party in the Tunisian Parliament, headed by Tunisian Parliament Speaker Rached Ghannouchi, said Saied's move was unconstitutional and equal to a coup.