Erdoğan, Essebsi discuss protests in Tunisia on phone


President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan held phone talks Thursday with Tunisian leaders about protests over rising living costs in the North African country as well as bilateral ties, according to presidential sources.

During conversations with President Mohamed Beji Caid Essebsi and Prime Minister Youssef Chahed, Erdoğan emphasized his belief that Tunisia would overcome its problems when it stands united, said sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

Conveying his thanks for the hospitality during his last visit to Tunisia, Erdoğan also underscored that the country's gains following the Jasmine Revolution should not be harmed.

Tunisia was the last stop on Erdoğan's three-nation African tour including Sudan and Chad in December. The three leaders also voiced their resolve to further improve bilateral ties in every area.

Protests have hit several areas of Tunisia in recent days over price hikes and tax increases. The government is defending the measures as necessary to limit a budget deficit that hit 6 percent of the country's GDP.

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