On 29 February, Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz met the National Dialogue Quartet, the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize laureates from Tunisia. On the invitation of the Foreign Minister, the four award winners attended a meeting in Vienna of the OSCE’s Mediterranean Contact Group whose chairmanship is currently held by Austria.
“I thank the Tunisian Quartet for their highly successful work during their country’s domestic policy crisis. From the European perspective, permanent stabilisation of this region and the creation of perspectives at the local level are pivotal, also with a view to reducing migration pressure. It is in our common interest that Tunisia remains a role model that inspires hope for an entire region, a region from which we currently receive alarming news time and again”, Sebastian Kurz explained after the meeting.
The Quartet, which is composed of the chairpersons of the Tunisian General Labour Union, the Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts, the Human Rights League and the Chamber of Lawyers, was awarded the distinction for its negotiation successes and decisive commitment towards a pluralist democracy during the critical phase of the country’s transition process following the Arab Spring. Tunisia is considered the country in which the Arab Spring originated. In the context of a public strategy discussion hosted by the Federal Ministry, the Quartet members also explained the “Tunisian approach” to an interested audience, analyse and take stock of developments in the country.
“Austria will continue to support the Tunisian approach and the country’s path towards a democratic, pluralist and modern society. We are convinced that the achievements of the Tunisian Nobel Peace Prize laureates can also serve as an example for other OSCE partners”, Sebastian Kurz concluded.
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