EU - Tunisia

EU freezes ex-Tunisian leader’s assets

File photo: Reuters/Tunisian State TV/Handout

Europe’s foreign ministers decided Monday to freeze the assets of ex-Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and his wife, in response to a request from the Tunisian authorities. Several other of Ben Ali’s associates may face similar sanctions in coming days.

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The sanctions were decided at a meeting in Brussels of the European Union's 27 Foreign Ministers.

Ben Ali and his wife are suspected to have taken much of the country’s wealth for their personal use.

The EU has promised to help Tunisia’s transitional government in organising elections. It also said it would resume talks that had been started under Ben Ali’s regime in May of last year to give Tunisia special ties with Europe, by enabling tariff cuts, boosting trade and encouraging better cooperation.

An EU mission flew to Tunis on Monday to assess the situation on the ground. Tunisia’s new foreign minister Ahmed Abderraouf Ounais is due in Brussels on Wednesday.

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