Tunisia: Administration Courting UAE in Possible Bid for Bilateral Funding

by | Aug 5, 2023 | Diplomacy, Economic, Tunisia


Following the promise from Saudi Arabia to provide Tunisia with $500 million in financial assistance, Carthage appears set on courting the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in a search for additional bailout funds from the Gulf.

On 4 August, President Kais Saied received the UAE’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Abdullah bin Zayed al Nahyan in Carthage where they held official discussions about the relationship between the two countries. The two reportedly discussed UAE plans to strengthen relations, including via additional UAE investment projects in Tunisia.

This visit follows a mid-July diplomatic visit to the UAE by Tunisian Foreign Minister Nabil Ammar during which he met with the Foreign Minister Nahyan and the President of the UAE, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Following Ammar’s visit to the UAE, President Kais Saied held an official phone call with UAE President al Nahyan. Later in July, the UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs offered official public condolences to the victims of Tunisia’s wildfires.


With funding from Saudi Arabia secured, Tunisia may be seeking additional financial assistance from other partners in the Gulf, particularly the UAE.  The recent increase in diplomatic activity may point to ongoing discussions regarding what a potential aid or loan package could include.

President Saied has expressed an interest pursuing solutions to Tunisian’s financial struggles that do not include a large-scale International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan tied to potentially painful reforms. Funding from the Gulf has long been rumored as a potential alternative source, though gathering the necessary funds to meet current budget needs from Gulf partners will be a significant challenge.

Our team will continue to watch for developments regarding financial assistance as Tunisia continues to edge closer to a more significant financial crisis.


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