BERLIN (eTN) – Egypt Tourism Minister Mounir Abdul Nour has expressed his gratitude on behalf of Egyptians to Tunis Tourism Minister Mehdi Houasm because “Tunisia has led the way for the sweeping change in the Middle East towards democracy and respect for human rights.”
“We owe Tunisia a big thank you for having inspired us and giving us confidence,” the Egyptian tourism minister told his Tunis counterpart at the ITB Berlin press conference of the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), which was held Thursday, March 10, 2011.
Both ministers are making their first appearance as their country’s tourism minister and both have been appointed to the job following a revolution in their respective countries.
“We were a country which did not respect human rights and the law – this has changed,” said Tunisia Tourism Minister Houasm. “Egypt and Tunisia are not competing. We invite you to visit both and know our extraordinary people.”
For his part, UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai said: “I would like to welcome both ministers [to] their first ITB, the first ITB for the newer governments in both Egypt and Tunisia.”
He added: “The world is looking with pride and appreciation to these two countries. And these can only be manifested by impact of will, of continuing to visit these two countries.”
For more on the rare show of solidarity between Egypt and Tunisia, make sure to read tomorrow’s story, ”Egypt and Tunisia: United in the name of tourism.”