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Official Visit to Tunis - July 11, 2001
Deputy Prime Minister Issam Fares paid an official visit to Tunis where he accompanied H.E. President Emile Lahoud. The accompanying delegation included Jamil al-Sayyid, the Director-General of Lebanon's General Security Directorate,  Lebanon’s Ambassador to Tunis Remond Roufael, and the heads of the Press and Editors Syndicates Mohammad Baalbaki and Melhem Karam.

A first round of talks was first held with Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, which focused on bilateral cooperation and the regional and international prevailing junctures. The Spokesman of the Tunisian Presidency revealed that both Presidents have agreed upon the necessity to speed up the signature of a zone for free exchange, to promote commercial transactions, and coordinate cooperation in investment.

Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali gives a warm welcome to the Deputy Premier
Second Day of the TripOn the second day of the trip, Fares attended with the Lebanese President the second round of talks held at Carthage with his Tunisian homologue. Prior to the talks, Fares, President Lahoud, and the delegation had paid visit to Carthage archeological sites. Early in the afternoon, the Tunisian Foreign Ministry had witnessed the signing of two agreements between the Lebanese and Tunisian Governments: the first about the maritime transport of people and merchandise, and the second for the establishment of the Tunisian-Lebanese Higher Committee that strives for the promotion of bilateral relations between both countries. Fares signed the agreements on the Lebanese side while Tunis was represented by Foreign Minister Habib Ben Yahia.

On behalf of Lebanon, Fares signs two agreements with Tunisia

Following the conclusion of the agreements, Fares pronounced an allocution in which he lauded the special ties linking Lebanon to Tunisia, calling for the activation of this relationship in a way to serve the interests of the two sisterly countries and to contribute in the development of Arab cooperation. He also appealed for the consolidation of the common Arab stance to safeguard the legitimate Arab rights and to consolidate stability in the region, deeming that a just and global peace serves all parties while wars wreak havoc.

Moreover, Fares considered that this visit to Tunis represents particular importance on the level of bilateral coordination mainly that it comes on the eve of the Francophone Summit in Beirut and a few months prior to the upcoming Arab Summit in Beirut.

Fares expressed belief that the establishment of the Tunisian-Lebanese Higher Committee shall lay down the foundations and rules for the expansion of bilateral relations in all arenas, mainly in the field of economic, commercial, educational, scientific, artistic, social, and media cooperation.