Tunisia had been invaded by various groups in the past, including the Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, Arabs, and the Ottoman Turks. In 1881, it was invaded by France. The French forced the bay Muhammed as-Sadiq to accept its terms, establishing French military occupation in this North African country. Tunisia was under the French Protectorate for almost a century. On March 20, 1956, however, after a long negotiation between the French and Tunisian authorities, this smallest country in North Africa finally gained independence.
The Republic of Tunisia is located on the Mediterranean Coast of North Africa. It is bordered by Algeria in the west, Libya in the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea in the north and east. Its capital and largest city is Tunis whose major landmarks include: the Presidential Palace (Carthage Palace) which is the residence of the President of Tunisia; the Chamber of Deputies and the Chamber of Advisors and parliament; the Constitutional Council; and the main judicial institutions and public offices.
Bilateral relations between Tunisia and the Philippines started on December 15, 1975. This close relation was manifested in the assistance provided by the Tunisian government towards the Filipino overseas workers during the height of the crisis of Libya and the former’s approval on the establishment of the Philippine Temporary Mission in Tunis on September 9, 2014.
In 2015, the two countries held their first Joint Commission Meeting in Manila which was capped with the signing of three bilateral agreements, namely: a Memorandum of Agreement on the Establishment of a Bilateral Consultation Mechanism between the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Philippines and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Tunisia; an Agreement on Cultural Cooperation between the Philippines and Tunisia; and the Memorandum of Intent between the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) of the Philippines and the Diplomatic Institute for Training and Studies (IDFE) of Tunisia. The Philippines has a consulate in Tunis, while the Republic of Tunisia has a consulate in Manila.
We congratulate the people and government of Tunisia led by President Beji Caid Essebsi and Prime Minister Youssef Chahed on the occasion of its Independence Day anniversary.