Tunisian PM visits France for talks on migration, ask for support

Tunisian Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi has arrived in Paris for talks with senior French officials on migration and economic support as the North African country is roiled by social protests.

Mechichi, who took office in September, is accompanied by a delegation including ministers of economy and tourism, Tunisia's state news agency TAP reported. They are said to have arrived in the French capital late Saturday.

The visit comes more than a month after a deadly attack in France in which a young Tunisian man was the main suspect. According to French and Italian officials, the suspect had reached Italy by sea before making his way to France shortly before the 29 October attack in a church in the city of Nice.

France, Tunisia's former colonial power, is home to around 600,000 Tunisian migrants.

Mechichi's trip will also take him to Italy, a major economic partner to Tunisia where around 800 Italian companies are operating. Senior Italian officials recently visited Tunisia where they held talks on curbing illegal migration.

Nearly 12,000 migrants have arrived in Italy aboard boats from Tunisia, according to figures from the non-governmental Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights.

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