Remarks After Meeting with Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi

us sdJohn Kerry
Secretary of State

Presidential Palace

Tunis, Tunisia

SECRETARY KERRY: Let me just say that it is a great pleasure for me to be back in Tunisia and to be able to share in the warmth and generosity and the welcome of the people of Tunisia. My visit today really continues the close cooperation between the United States and Tunisia. And we especially wanted to underscore the full and strong commitment of the people of the United States to the journey towards democracy that the people of Tunisia have chosen.

Tunisia is really an inspiring story for the world of what can happen when people demand for themselves the ability to be able to participate in their government, to have a government that is accountable, to be able to choose their leaders, and to be able to march courageously down the road to a full democracy.

The road from the revolution of 2011 – 2011 has not been an easy road. But every step of the way, when there’s been difficulty, Tunisians have turned to dialogue and turned to compromise and turned to consensus-building in order to keep people together and maintain the consistency of the journey towards democracy.

And while the national dialogue group was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize – appropriately – I think that it is in fact the people of Tunisia represented in that dialogue who actually have won this distinction. And the people of Tunisia should take great pride in the fact that all of them are part of this extraordinary effort to try to build a future through compromise and through dialogue, based on democratic principles and shared values and shared interests.

As a result, the whole world is watching Tunisia. And I come here today on behalf of President Obama and the American people to make it clear that the United States of America will stand with Tunisia and do all that we can to help in this remarkable transformation.

Thank you for a very generous welcome, and I look forward to returning again.