Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said on Friday that the leaders of Italy, the Netherlands, and the European Commission would likely announce an EU aid package for Tunisia during an upcoming visit during the weekend.
Meloni, her Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte, and President of EU Commission Ursula von der Leyen will travel to Tunisia Sunday to discuss removing obstacles hindering Tunisia's access to International Monetary Fund (IMF) loans.
She said that the expected EU aid package would pave the way for obtaining IMF funding.
"It seems to me that important steps forward are being taken," Meloni said.
Speaking to reporters after a meeting in Rome with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Meloni said she was confident a deal could be reached between the IMF and Tunisia.
Meanwhile, the Tunisian Ministry of Defense announced Friday that four Tunisian soldiers died in a military helicopter crash into the sea on Wednesday.
The ministry said it had lost contact with the helicopter after it went missing while on a flight mission on Wednesday near Bizerte.
According to the Ministry, the units are still searching for the dead soldiers after they recovered two bodies and parts of the helicopter's wreckage.
Also, President Kais Saied discussed the incident with the Minister of Defense, Imed Memmiche.
The President called for the necessity of renewing the Tunisian military equipment, considering that such incidents, which can occur in any country, unfortunately, occur in Tunisia due to the erosion of the equipment, which led to and continues to lead to such tragedies.
In October 2021, three soldiers were killed when an army helicopter crashed during a night exercise in the southern province of Gabes.
A year early, a soldier was killed when his warplane crashed in the Remada region, in the far south of Tunisia. In 2018, two soldiers were killed when a training plane crashed in Sfax, east of Tunisia.
The most significant accident dates back to 2002, when a military helicopter carrying the military leaders crashed, killing 13 Tunisian soldiers in the Medjez el-Bab area.