United States Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights Uzra Zeya arrived in Tunis on Wednesday on a visit that will last until March 27.
She is scheduled to meet with senior government officials to discuss inclusive political and economic reforms, protecting human rights, and the integral role civil society plays in a strong democracy.
During her meetings, Zeya will also discuss bilateral and regional issues and the economic challenges that Tunisia is facing as a result of Russian aggression against its neighbor.
She will also meet with human rights defenders, organized labor leaders, and other Tunisian civil society representatives to hear their perspectives on the challenges and opportunities confronting Tunisia, her office stated.
Observers say the US official’s visit underlines the importance of these issues for the US administration, which had previously criticized the country’s shift away from the democratic path and demanded its return to parliamentary democracy.
Several US delegations had visited Tunisia after President Kais Saied imposed exceptional measures on July 25.
However, Saied and several Tunisian parties slammed the visits and rejected any foreign intervention in the country’s internal affairs.
The president decided to suspend parliament, fire the prime minister and seize executive powers, which he said was necessary to save the country amid unrest over financial issues and the government’s handling of Tunisia’s coronavirus crisis.