Tunisian Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi said his country refuses to establish reception centers for foreign migrants on their way to Europe.
Tunisian Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi has rejected the idea of setting up migrant reception centers in his country. He was speaking at the Ministerial Conference on the Management of Migrant Flows, held in Lisbon and sponsored by the Portuguese presidency of the Council of the European Union, with the participation of representatives from African countries.
"Tunisia refuses to set up reception centers on its territory for foreign migrants headed to Europe, and is not at all ready to welcome citizens from other countries, just as it opposes any interference with operations that affect its national sovereignty," Mechichi said, according to a statement from his office.
Commitment to a strategy to reduce flow
Mechichi said that in addition to adopting a multidimensional approach with his various European partners, Tunisia has taken into consideration the security aspects of legal, coordinated and organized migration.
It has also considered dimensions related to professional training and strengthening solidarity between the countries in the region.
Mechichi said Tunisia is committed to implementing a global strategy aimed at gradually reducing the problem.
'Migration should be considered a factor of development'
Mechichi said migration "shouldn't be considered a permanent threat" but rather a "factor of economic, social and cultural development, as well as a factor that builds closeness between peoples."
He emphasized the need to continue the 5 + 5 Dialogue, a dialogue about migration launched in Rome in 1990 between countries on both sides of the Mediterranean, in North Africa and Europe.
Mechichi said he saw the dialogue as acting as a platform for reflection in order to find suitable solutions to migration in every aspect: security, economic, social and cultural.