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July 27, 2020 Minister of the Interior Luciana Lamorgese was received today by the President of the Tunisian Republic, Kais Saied, and also met with the premier in charge, former Minister of the Interior, Hichem Mechichi. Lamorgese - said a note from the Interior Ministry - "shared with President Saied the strong Italian concerns over the increase recorded this year on the arrival of irregular migrants from Tunisia through autonomous landings. A phenomenon, it has been underlined, has assumed significant dimensions: as of July 24, 1137 of 11,191 migrants landed in Italy have left Tunisia and of these almost 4 thousand are Tunisian citizens ".

Saied: "Strengthening collaboration"
"During the interview - reads a statement from the Tunisian presidency - it was stated that Italy will continue to support Tunisia by offering it all the assistance it needs and the issue of migratory flows to Italy was also underlined" . Saied highlighted the strong relations between Tunisia and Italy and the importance of further strengthening them on the basis of common interests. He also stressed the need to join efforts to find an adequate solution to cope with illegal migration since security solutions alone are not enough to deal with it. For Saied, the phenomenon of illegal immigration is primarily a humanitarian issue, the causes of which must be understood in advance. "Allowing the survival of migrants in their countries is everyone's responsibility and the solution to the phenomenon consists in collaboration between the various countries" concludes Saied. Lamorgese also had a meeting with the outgoing minister of the interior, now appointed prime minister, Hichem Mechichi.

Accelerating the recovery in Tunisia
Minister Lamorgese underlined, in consideration of the solid bilateral relations, the particular attention with which the developments of the political crisis taking place in the country are followed in Italy, hoping that the Tunisian Republic, under the authoritative guide of its President, may soon get out of this difficult situation in order to face the significant socio-economic challenges that are looming on the horizon for the Tunisian people. In this sense, the intention was expressed to support interventions and investments to accelerate the economic recovery in Tunisia.

Fight against crime With a
view to improving an already consolidated collaboration, Minister Lamorgese reiterated that, especially in this phase of the Covid-19 pandemic, Tunisia's action to control the territory and borders, especially maritime ones, to dismantle is crucial - as shared by the EU and African countries in the recent ministerial summit by videoconference from Trieste - the activities of organized crime that has made migrant trafficking its main activity. On this front, Italy is ready to offer full support to Tunisia also through more effective formulas of collaboration in the surveillance activity of traffickers' boats departing from the African coast. The President of the Said Republic has given reassurances about an intensification of controls at the sea borders to counteract the activity of migrant smugglers. On the Tunisian side, the regular conduct of the weekly repatriation operations from Italy was confirmed, which in any case have already resumed after the lockdown period.