Sarkozy, Ben Ali Sign Accords On Immigration, Nuclear Energy

Sarkozy, Ben Ali sign accords on immigration, nuclear energy

Apr 29, 2008, 8:46 GMT

Tunis/Paris – French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his Tunisian counterpart Zine Al Abidine Ben Ali have concluded agreements on immigration and the development of nuclear energy, French media reported on Tuesday.

Late Monday, first day of Sarkozy's three-day state visit to Tunisia, the two leaders agreed on the 'concerted management' of the flow of immigrants from Tunisia to France.

The agreement was the first of its kind between France and a North African country and will open the French labour market to Tunisians who 'have high-level skills or work in trades in which France has a labour shortage.'

France and Tunisia also signed an agreement on the peaceful development of nuclear energy that will include the training of Tunisian engineers and could end with the construction of a nuclear power plant.

The accord was similar to one France has concluded with Libya, Algeria and Morocco.

In addition, Tunisian carrier Tunisair signed a letter of intent to buy 16 Airbus aircraft for a catalogue-price value of 1 billion euros, while energy equipment manufacturer Alstom was chosen to build a conventional power plant in southern Tunisia, a deal worth 360 million euros.