Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed (R) meets with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni in Tunis, capital of Tunisia, Nov. 25, 2017. (Xinhua/Adele Ezzin)
TUNIS, Nov. 25 (Xinhua) -- Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni began a two-day official visit to Tunisia Saturday to discuss boosting bilateral cooperation and fighting illegal emigration.
Gentiloni was received by Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi at the presidential palace in Carthage, before meeting with his Tunisian counterpart Youssef Chahed at the government headquarters.
The Italian leader has approved the financing of a development project in the governorate of Kebili in southwest of Tunisia with a value of 55.5 million dinars (about 22.52 million dollars), the Tunisian presidency said.
Gentiloni has also confirmed the continuation of the process of converting a new portion of Tunisian debts into investment projects, in addition to examining the progress of an ongoing project on setting up an electrical link between Tunisia and Italy.
Regarding the fight against illegal emigration, Gentiloni said it is imperative to increase the efforts of both sides to mitigate this problem that keeps growing.
An agreement signed between the two Mediterranean countries in 2012 on fighting illegal migration has started to "work properly", Gentiloni said.
"Tunisia and Italy are serious about fighting illegal emigration in an effective and complementary way," he said at a press briefing.
The stability of the Mediterranean area, more precisely Libya, is a common concern shared by Italy and Tunisia which has a special interest in it like whole European Union, he added.