Baku. 22 May. REPORT.AZ/ President Obama moved to upgrade the U.S. alliance with Tunisia Thursday, welcoming the newly elected Tunisian president to the White House to highlight what the United States sees as a rare success story from the Arab Spring.
Report informs referring to foreign media, Obama said he intends to name the northern African nation a major, non-NATO ally, a designation that clears the way for Tunisia to receive more military aid. Only 15 countries have been added to that list since 1989, most recently Afghanistan in 2012.
In doing so, Obama cited the progress Tunisia has made "in allowing all parties and all parts of the population, including women and minorities, to be included in the governing process."
The reception for President Béji Caïd Essebsi marks the first time a democratically elected Tunisian president has visited the White House in the 215-year history of relations with Tunis. And it comes at what the United States sees as a crucial juncture in Tunisia's newly emerging democracy.
A nation of 11 million, Tunisia has struggled with high unemployment as it has received a flood of more than 1 million refugees fleeing a civil war in Libya, Tunisia's eastern neighbor.