Tunis, March 3 (IANS/EFE) Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has offered his country’s help in the transition process in Tunisia, offering a 300 million euro ($415.8 million) credit to aid development in the North African nation.
Zapatero, the first European leader to travel to Tunis since the fall of the regime of Zine el Abidine Ben Ali, met top officials of the transition government and the opposition to guarantee them Spain’s support.
The most urgent matter for Tunisia at this time is to attend to the thousands of refugees crossing over from Libya. Zapatero said Spain was ready to mobilise aircraft and ships to transport them to their country.
The Spanish prime minister met Tunisian interim President Fuad Mebaza and Premier Beyi Said Essebsi.
He said Spain was the first country to send humanitarian aid to Tunis.
“We want to be there from the first moment and we want to be in the group of countries that supports with the greatest determination what is happening in the Arab world,” Zapatero said.
“Each country makes its own history, each people builds its democracy and what is expected from friendly people is understanding and help. We’re not going to say anything that suggests giving a lecture, but we’re going to give all that we are asked for so that the Tunisians feel free,” he said.
Zapatero said the success of the Tunisian uprising is going to spread through the region, including Libya.
“Spaniards want their government to be supporting the democratic changes in the Arab world from the first, and so therefore I’m here,” he said.