EU leaders pledge security cooperation, aid for Tunisia

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 20, 2015 8:23 AM

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union leaders agreed on Friday to increase cooperation with Tunisia following an Islamist attack on tourists in the capital this week, saying they would also offer more economic assistance to the new Arab democracy.

In a statement agreed at an EU summit in Brussels, the leaders condemned the Tunis attack and expressed sympathy for the victims. It added: "The European Union and its member states will intensify cooperation with Tunisia to counter this common terrorist threat, to strengthen Tunisia's promising democracy and to assist its economic and social development."

With neighboring Libya in chaos following a Western-backed revolt in 2011, and with military rulers back in power in Egypt, EU states are keen to bolster the elected authorities in Tunisia, where the Arab Spring protests for democracy began.

(Reporting by Alastair Macdonald; editing by Robin Emmott)