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After Obama, what comes next for US-Tunisia ties?

While the United States has a strategic interest in keeping Tunisia stable, its interest recently has been mostly lip service, and some argue things are unlikely to change after the November elections.
A photo taken on May 4, 1961 in Washington shows US president John Fitzgerald Kennedy (R) and his Tunisian counterpart Habib Bourguiba during his first visit in United States.   AFP PHOTO        (Photo credit should read ARCHIVE/AFP/GettyImages)
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As a tiny, oil-less country that has historically been turned toward Europe, it can sometimes seem that Tunisia is too far removed to be a real strategic partner for the United States. So it might seem surprising that on May 3, 1961, President John F. Kennedy stood smiling on the tarmac at the Washington National Airport, ready to greet Tunisia’s first president, Habib Bourguiba.

“I think that it's most proper that the first head of state to pay an official state visit to this country in this administration should be President Bourguiba,” Kennedy said, waiting at the airport. The two presidents, who had been friends for years, greeted each other warmly, toasted each other at a state dinner and drove around New York in a convertible.

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