The U.S.-Tunisia Joint Military Commission Senior Leader Forum (JMC SLF) was held in Tunis, Tunisia October 6-7, 2020. Dr. Michael Cutrone, Performing the Duties of Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, led the U.S. delegation by joining virtually, while Minster Brahim Bertegi, the Tunisian Minister of Defense, led the Tunisian delegation. U.S. Ambassador to Tunisia, Donald Blome, participated from Tunis.
Coming on the heels of his visit to Tunis with U.S. Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper on September 30, 2020, during the JMC SLF, Dr. Cutrone underscored the U.S. commitment to Tunisia as a key partner in Africa. Dr. Cutrone and Minister Bertegi urged the two delegations to refine a Bilateral Country Action Plan, an important step to implement the U.S.-Tunisia Roadmap for Defense Cooperation signed during the Secretary’s visit.
Dr. Cutrone and Minister Bertegi reaffirmed the strategic advantages of the bilateral partnership, highlighting the mutual benefits that the partnership affords. They reviewed their efforts to enhance Tunisian military capacity to secure its borders, conduct joint operations, carry out effective counter-terrorism missions, and respond to crises. The two delegations also discussed opportunities to further expand defense cooperation as a means to contribute to regional stability and security.
Dr. Cutrone and Minister Bertegi acknowledged the strong, enduring security partnership based on trust, democratic values, and respect for sovereignty, and they stated their optimism for even deeper partnership in the years to come.