“We are determined to stay in Tunisia”, says KAS Chairman Norbert Lammert

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Chairman of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) Foundation and former Bundestag President Norbert Lammert is currently in Tunis to inaugurate the foundation’s new office.

In an interview with TAP news agency, Lammert expressed the KAS’s willingness to strengthen its position in Tunisia.

Question: Why choosing Tunisia as a host country for the new KAS office?

Answer: We came to Tunisia in the early 80s and all of this time and in different circumstance we felt welcomed and appreciated as a partner in developing different programmes.

The opening of this new office will help integrate two programmes, namely the bilateral programme between Germany and Tunisia, and the Mediterranean programme of the Adenauer foundation, also being situated here in Tunis.

Another reason for choosing Tunisia for this new office is that Tunisia is still the only country in the Islamic world that offers us such favouring conditions for working and cooperating with a national partner.

Beyond the fact they we are nearly forty years in Tunisia, now we have bought this new building and it indicates that we are determined to stay.

Question: You served as the president of the German Bundestag for over a decade, how do you see the relations between Tunisia and Germany?

Answer: The good and solid and friendly relations between Germany and Tunisia are older than the new developments after the revolution.

The relations between the German and Tunisian parliaments “have reached a new level since that time”, as for the first time we have a serious partner in terms of a democratically elected and legitimised chamber representing the people.

I actually had the opportunity to meet, earlier today, my long time colleague and now acting President Mohamed Ennaceur and we exchanged this experience of strong and efficient cooperation that we have developed since that time.

To put it in a rather personal way, I accidently always come to Tunis when there is a more or less prominent political situation, as my first visit took place immediately after the National Constitutent Assembly has been elected, then I came on the occasion for the proclamation of the constitution being made by this constitutional assembly, now I’m here a couple of weeks where a president will be elected and then a new parliament will be elected.

Most people that I have met (including government officials but also artists) share the impression that to some extent it concludes a period of constituting a new democratically organised state and approaching, more or less, a normal time of a functioning democratic system with all its opportunities and restrictions.

This again is a challenging situation for a political foundation like KAS in observing and supporting those processes.

Source: Tunisia Africa Press / interview by Rama Gasmi Jaziri

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