Rafik Hariri Center Senior Fellow Karim Mezran and Rafik Hariri Center Associate Director for Research Lara Talverdian write for The National Interest on why US-Tunisian cooperation should extend beyond the security realm:
Tunisia has provided a glimmer of hope in a region that continues to be roiled by the aftermath of the Arab Spring. That hope risks being extinguished as the North African nation now grapples with the daunting challenges of governance. Tunisian goodwill alone will not keep the country on the right path. The international community must provide economic and technical assistance if hope is to be kept alive.
When Tunisian president Beji Caid Essebsi is in Washington this week to meet with US president Barack Obama, the two leaders must use the opportunity to invigorate a dialogue on mutual interests and explore assistance and coordination programs. Given Tunisia’s promise of political pluralism in an otherwise volatile neighborhood, it is in everyone’s interest to aim for a comprehensive, strategic partnership.