U.S. to pro­vide $100 mil­lion

The Washington Times Daily - - World -

The United States said Thurs­day it would grant $100 mil­lion to Tu­nisia to pay its debts, hop­ing to let the gov­ern­ment fo­cus on the econ­omy and show a suc­cess in the birth­place of the Arab Spring.

Sec­re­tary of State Hil­lary Rod­ham Clin­ton said the U.S. also is ne­go­ti­at­ing a sep­a­rate pack­age in which Washington would of­fer loan guar­an­tees to raise hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars for Tu­nisia.

Mrs. Clin­ton, who spoke by tele­phone Wed­nes­day with Prime Min­is­ter Ha­madi Je­bali, said the aid would let Tu­nisia pare down debts to the World Bank and African De­vel­op­ment Bank left over from dic­ta­tor Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s 23-year regime.

The $100 mil­lion trans­fer will al­low Tu­nisia “to in­stead use this money for its pri­or­ity pro­grams, ac­cel­er­at­ing eco­nomic growth and job cre­ation,” Mrs. Clin­ton said.

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