FM to represent Caid Essebsi at Extraordinary Session of AU Heads of State

President of the Republic Béji Caid Essebsi Friday entrusted Foreign Minister Khemaïes Jhianoui, with representing him at the Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the Heads of State

 and Government of the African Union (AU)

set for March 21 in Rwanda's capital Kigali to attend the launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA).

The move follows last March 8-9 meeting in Kigali of AU trade ministers. The decision to launch the CFTA was made in January 2012 at the 18th AU Summit.

The area is expected to include the tripartite free-trade area; the latter is made up of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the East African Community (EAC) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).


It also includes the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU) and the Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD).

The project seeks to bring together a total of 54 states in a free trade area.

The President of the Republic underlined the importance of scaling up cooperation with African countries which offer opportunities to boost the national economy and open up new horizons before Tunisian experts as well as new avenues of cooperation in key sectors.

Jhinaoui said he briefed the President of the Republic about his Nigeria visit (March 11-14), particularly the talk he had with President Muhammadu Buhari, the fifth session of the Tunisian-Nigerian High Joint Commission and the Tunisian-Nigerian business forum.

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