WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), ranking member and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today issued the following joint statement on their meeting in the U.S. Capitol with President Kais Saied of Tunisia:
“This week, we met with President Saied to discuss the U.S-Tunisia relationship, and U.S. efforts to support the Tunisian people as they seek to fulfill their aspirations of prosperity, democracy, and security. We spoke frankly, as friends, about Tunisia’s current path ahead of December 17 elections. We reiterated to President Saied our concerns regarding the erosion of Tunisia’s institutions of governance, particularly the vast expansion of presidential power at the expense of the parliament and the judiciary. We emphasized that our bilateral relationship with Tunisia must be rooted in common values, including democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.
“United States assistance is contingent on unambiguous democratic reform benchmarks. Just because these elections mark the end of President Saied’s political roadmap, they do not mark the end of U.S. support for Tunisian aspirations for an inclusive and accountable government that reflects democratic values.”