The encouraging lesson from Tunisia’s experiment is that it shows that democracy is an achievable objective in an Arab country. And if a small country like Tunisia, with limited natural resources, can pull it off, then others can, too, Prime Minister Youssef Chahed Friday said in a statement published by the United Press International (UPI) on the eve of his departure to Washington for a working and friendship visit.

Democracy cannot be built in a vacuum. It requires economic growth, stability and security and also keeping hopes and expectations alive and constantly demonstrating to the people that democracy is the best way to meet their hopes, he pointed out.

Chahed underlined that “social peace will remain elusive as long as unemployment remained at more than 15%.” “A situation which gave the impression that previous governments were deaf to the legitimate clamouring of our jobless youth who led the 2011 revolution.”

But it is a stubborn fact that job creation depends on economic growth, he estimated, adding that for the last six years, Tunisia’s growth has averaged just 1% per year.

“We had to anchor our young democracy while at the same time worked to vanquish terrorism, achieve economic recovery and establish the rule of law,” he explained.

Besides, he estimated that Tunisia has regained the initiative in the fight against terrorism thanks to the vigilance and determination of our security forces and their closer collaboration with our country’s international partners, including the United States.”

“We have also launched a determined fight against graft and corruption, which is not only a prerequisite to establishing a sense of equal opportunity among citizens but also crucial to maintaining trust in our democratic institutions and boosting business confidence and economic growth.”

Besides, the Premier expressed hope that Tunisia can count on the steady support of its strategic partners in the United States.

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