France pays tribute to Tunisia’s Nobel peace laureates

Tunisia/meeting with the representatives of the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet – Communiqué issued by the Presidency of the Republic

Paris, 16 October 2015

On Friday 16 October, French President François Hollande had a meeting at the Elysée Palace with the representatives of the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet, which received the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize: Mr Hocine Abassi, Secretary-General of the Tunisian General Labour Union, Ms Ouided Bouchamaoui, President of UTICA [Tunisian employers’ organization], Mr Abdessattar Ben Moussa, President of the Tunisian Human Rights League, and Mr Fadhel Mahfoudh, President of the Tunisian Order of Lawyers.

The French President congratulated them on the distinction, which rewards their crucial contribution to the success of Tunisia’s democratic transition. This Nobel prize is also a tremendous tribute to the maturity of Tunisian society, and an encouragement to all its leaders and representatives to continue the reforms in the same spirit of dialogue and responsibility.

As he had done at their previous meeting during his visit to Tunis in February 2014, the French President gathered the views of the Quartet’s representatives on the many challenges Tunisia still faces, particularly in economic and social terms. He reiterated the full support of France, which will spare no effort to help Tunisia take up those challenges./.

Nobel Peace Prize for the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet – Statement by M. François Hollande, President of the Republic

Paris, 9 October 2015

The Nobel Peace Prize which has just been awarded to the Tunisian [National Dialogue] Quartet recognizes the successful democratic transition in Tunisia. It’s also an encouragement to further support Tunisia in the ordeals it is going through, because they’re not over yet. We saw this with the terrorist acts of recent weeks and months.

This prize recalls every Arab spring, and Tunisia’s was – let’s acknowledge it – the only one to have had this result, with indisputable elections and democracy established at last.

France, too, must learn every lesson from it and maintain cooperation with Tunisia at the necessary level: at economic level, in terms of tourism and also in terms of defence. A few days ago, an agreement was reached with Tunisia to support the Tunisians’ defence forces.

Europe and the world must also not simply hand Tunisia a prize but attach importance to the assistance that must be granted to Tunisia. Symbolic moments and endorsements are always very important, but there’s also what we must do to enable Tunisia to go even further in the success of its transition.

This will be France’s position, and I’m happy today for all Tunisians, because I met these people, these organizations in the Quartet, before and after I became President. I know what this means, and I want to salute all those actively engaged, men and women – because many women got involved – who today have been given genuine recognition for what has been done in Tunisia.

At a time when other Arab countries are suffering because of wars and conflicts to bring down dictatorships, Tunisia can provide a fine example, including against terrorism. The Nobel Prize which Tunisia has been awarded also represents a battle against terrorism, which must be reaffirmed once more./.

Nobel Peace Prize for the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet – Statement by M. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development

Paris, 9 October 2015

I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to the four organizations that have just been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize 2015 for conducting national dialogue in Tunisia – the Tunisian General Labour Union (Union Générale Tunisienne du Travail – UGTT), the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts (Union Tunisienne de l’Industrie, du Commerce et de l’Artisanat – UTICA), the Tunisian Human Rights League (La Ligue Tunisienne pour la Défense des Droits de l’Homme – LTDH), and the Tunisian Order of Lawyers (Ordre National des Avocats de Tunisie). Beyond that, my thoughts are with all Tunisians.

This Nobel Prize acknowledges the tireless efforts undertaken to promote democracy in Tunisia. It recognizes Tunisian civil society for its maturity and its understanding of the best interests of the country and the Tunisian people. It is a message of hope for the democratic aspirations being expressed in the Arab world and beyond. France will spare no effort in lending its support to Tunisia./.

Published on 23/10/2015

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