Fact Sheet
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
May 19, 2011

With our 200-year long relationship with Tunisia as a solid foundation, the United States is committed to working with the people and government of Tunisia to lay the groundwork for lasting democratic reform and sustainable economic development.

  • The United States recognizes that the Tunisian transition will be rooted in Tunisia’s history, traditions, and hopes. We are contributing financially to help the people and interim government of Tunisia meet key benchmarks on their transition trajectory.
  • To help Tunisians lay the groundwork for responsive, accountable governance, we are supporting the interim government’s efforts to prepare for elections. We are also helping to build the capacity of Tunisian civil society organizations, political parties, and media to mobilize and advocate for the interests of the Tunisian people.
  • To help Tunisians build a stronger and more equitable economy, we are supporting academic exchanges and skills-training, promoting entrepreneurship and innovation, making financing available to small businesses, helping the government implement foundational fiscal reforms, and seeking to expand the bilateral trade relationship.
  • We continue to work with Tunisia’s numerous international partners to coordinate assistance for the democratic transition. We are supportive of the contributions of international financial institutions such as the World Bank and the African Development Bank, and the contributions of other countries, to help Tunisia overcome its significant economic challenges.
  • We are also grateful for the assistance that the people and interim government have provided to the tens of thousands of migrants and conflict victims fleeing the violence in Libya. We have contributed financially to the various international appeals for assistance to help Tunisia and other border countries respond to this humanitarian crisis.
  • We have embraced the opportunities that both traditional and new media tools, such as Facebook, offer to provide an open line of communication between Tunisian citizens and the U.S. government, and are eager to hear what Tunisians think about this period of momentous change.
  • The United States was among the first countries to denounce the former regime’s brutal crackdown on the protests that ultimately led to former president Ben Ali’s ouster, and among the first Western countries to send senior officials to Tunisia after the fall of the Ben Ali regime in January. A number of other senior U.S. officials, including Secretary of State Clinton and Members of Congress, have since traveled to Tunisia to reaffirm our support for the transition.

PRN: 2011/786