Tunis, Tunisia — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 02 March 2012 – An Italian delegation headed by minister of environment, territory and sea Corrado Clini has visited Tunisia to discuss future support in the field of renewable energy within the framework of the European Union’s environmental initiatives.

The delegation met with Tunisian minister of investment and international cooperation Riadh Bettaieb, as well as the newly-appointed minister of environment and sustainable development Memia Benna.

Clini emphasised his country’s willingness to support Tunisia on a bilateral basis, as well as within the framework of the European Union’s environmental initiatives.

Memia Benna, called for the reinforcement of cooperation between the two countries “’ particularly concerning the protection of the Mediterranean, the promotion of clean renewable energy, and the recycling of waste.

Cooperation initiatives will cover a number of areas, including green economy, increasing employment in environmentally friendly sectors, reducing pollution, creating marine reserves, conducting scientific research, and enhancing coordination between environmental organisations in Tunisia and Italy.

The Italian and Tunisian ministers drew up a list of elements that will be included in the upcoming partnership accord which will be signed in Rome in the next few weeks. This project will focus on the creation of development plans, the exchange of experience related to environmental development, and the empowerment of Tunisian civil society in implementing eco-friendly initiatives.

Clini and Bettaieb also signed an agreement for the development of sustainable energy. This memorandum of understanding aims at developing solar energy for the benefit of Tunisia’s industrial, agricultural, and domestic construction sectors.

The agreement intends to provide funding for the purpose of re-invigorating the Prosol Plan “’ an initiative launched in February 2005 between Tunisia and Italy as a means of promoting the production of solar energy in Tunisia.