Should Tunisia and the US Establish an FTA?

Waging Peace: PeaceGame Exercise Looks at Best Outcome for Syria

Source: Washington Report on Middle East Affairs by Mehrunisa Qayyum, March/April 2014

In order to examine what “the best possible peace for Syria” might look like, the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) and the Foreign Policy (FP) Group organized their first PeaceGame simulation—the softer version of a wargame—on Dec. 9 at USIP’s Washington, DC headquarters. As FP CEO David Rothkopf explained, the exercise brought together 43 foreign policy specialists who played the roles of international and Syrian stakeholders in the ongoing conflict. [Click here to continue.]

PITAPOLICY heard the new Tunisian Ambassador to the U.S., Mohamed Ezzine Chelaifa, speak at the Peteresen Institue, an international economics center of study.  Ambassador Chelaifa briefly assessed the ground realities in Tunisia across   3 categories: political, security & socio-economic tensions.  Also, he highlighted Tunisia’s economic and political goals.  On December 1st, 2013, the Tunisian ambassador started his appointment.  (Last year, Mokhtar Chaouchi was selected–we are not sure of why the change.) We were surprised to hear that there’s an aeronautic industry.

Radwan Masmoudi, founder and president of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy, – See more at: http://www.tunisia-live.net/2013/01/26/mokhtar-chaouachi-appointed-tunisias-new-ambassador-to-the-u-s/#sthash.Fms5CGIa.dpufwas ) His current push for a Free Trade Agreement with the US is born out of a precedent.  Currently, the U.S. established an FTA with Libya, Algeria, and Turkey.
  • Worried about prolfieration of weapons from neighboring countries – acknowledges new terrorist threats
  • Consider disparities and unemployment sparked the conflict – GDP shrank 1.9% immediately after revolution, then bounced back.
  • More than 3,000 foreign companies are registered in Tunisia.

Regarding a security assessment, read #PITAPAL Dr. Noureddine Jebnoun’s findings in his security report.

The security sector, which includes the police and intelligence apparatus as well as the military, is the missing link in this fourth draft of the constitution; the document does not provide positive reform of the sector. For more than two decades, many Tunisians experienced political suppression and extensive surveillance, suffered torture, and were forced into exile. Internal security agencies, mainly the so-called “political police” and the state security service, were the regime’s instrument, acting as both the guardians of the public sphere and as invaders of personal lives. It is likely that the NCA members’ security illiteracy prevented them from addressing changes to the sector, which is crucial for a working democracy. Indeed, all Tunisians should be ensured “freedom from fear” in their constitution when it comes to this sector.

Tunisia Turns to Citizens in Budget Crunch

Source: Magharabia by Monia G

Tunis — In his first televised appearance since taking office, Mehdi Jomaa last week said that the government was facing a grim financial situation that required sacrifices. [Click here to continue]


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