Brazil Making Up for Time Lost in Its Relation with Tunisia

Brazil and Tunisia are looking to expand the cooperation in the information technology area. This was one of decisions made during the meeting of the Brazil-Tunisia Bilateral Commission, which ended Tuesday, January 17, in the Brazilia capital BrasÀ­lia.

The work will be based on the conclusions reached at the World Summit on the Information Society, event of the United Nations (UN) that took place in November in Tunis.

"We are going to examine the ways of bilateral work based on the summit. We will transfer the decisions of the summit for the relations between the two countries," said the director of the department of Africa at the Itamaraty, the Brazilian Foreign Office, Fernando Jacques.

The commission served, amongst other things, to expand the technical cooperation horizon amongst the two nations. "The good political relations between the two countries are starting to be translated into practical actions," said the Brazilian minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim, at the closing of the meeting.

As well as information technology, Brazil and Tunisia will exchange experiences in the field of health, in actions like fighting AIDS, in which Brazil has a pretty strong policy, fighting tuberculosis and in vaccination campaigns. According to Jacques, there will be missions organized of Brazilian technicians to Tunisia and vice-versa.

The cultural sector also took up good space in the topics of the meeting. So much that, in the end, Celso Amorim and his Tunisian counterpart Abdelwahab Abdallah, who is visiting Brazil, signed an executive program of cultural cooperation valid up to 2009 that foresees a series of measures to promote exchange in visual arts, cultural heritage and diversity, cinema, literature, music, dance, theatre and copyright.

The text of the agreement foresees, for example, that Brazil will be invited to participate at the Carthage Film Festival in 2006 and 2008, that the distribution of Brazilian films in Tunisia will be promoted and vice versa and that selected literary works will be translated.

This program shows the great interest Tunisia holds for South American culture," said Amorim. "We are going to recover the time that was lost and make our bilateral relations reach the same level of relationship that already exists between our leaders in the international forums," added Abdallah.

During his two-day stay in Brasilia, the Tunisian Foreign Minister also signed agreements in the fields of higher-level education, with the Minister of Education, Fernando Haddad, and agricultural, with the minister of Agriculture, Roberto Rodrigues.

"Agreements which, I hope, will be followed by other treaties that will give increasing force to cooperation," said Abdallah. "It is now up to our diplomats to work for them to be implemented," he added.

The commission was divided into two work groups, one that dealt with trade, investments and other themes in the economic area, and another that took care of the other matters.

"Now it is important to hold sectorial missions for the establishment of concrete measures," declared Fernando Jacques.

Abdallah also met with the president of the House of Representatives, Aldo Rebelo, with the Minister of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, Luiz Fernando Furlan, with the president of the Senate, Renan Calheiros, and with the vice president of the Republic, José Alencar.

"I felt honored for being with the vice president and I hope all these visits I made may reflect in the Brazil-Tunisia relations," said the Foreign Minister.

Anba – www.anba.com.br

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