SUBMITTED RESOLUTIONS
(Senate - July 11, 2017)

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[Congressional Record Volume 163, Number 116 (Tuesday, July 11, 2017)]
[Pages S3922-S3923]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                         SUBMITTED RESOLUTIONS

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 SENATE RESOLUTION 217--WELCOMING PRIME MINISTER YOUSSEF CHAHED OF THE 
  TUNISIAN REPUBLIC ON HIS FIRST OFFICIAL VISIT TO THE UNITED STATES, 
CONGRATULATING THE PEOPLE OF THE TUNISIAN REPUBLIC ON THEIR EMBRACE OF 
DEMOCRACY AFTER DECADES OF DICTATORSHIP, AND ENCOURAGING FUTURE REFORMS

  Mr. CARDIN (for himself, Mr. Rubio, Mr. Coons, Mr. Kaine, Mr. Murphy, 
Mr. Markey, Mr. Booker, Mr. Menendez, Ms. Baldwin, Mr. Perdue, Mr. 
Cotton, and Mr. McCain) submitted the following resolution; which was 
referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations:

                              S. Res. 217

       Whereas, on December 17, 2010, Mohammad Bouazizi, a young 
     fruit vendor in Sidi Bouzid, set himself on fire to protest 
     his unjust treatment by the regime of Tunisian

[[Page S3923]]

     President Zine al Abidine Ben Ali, and in his death inspired 
     the ``Jasmine Revolution'' in the Tunisian Republic and 
     popular revolutions across the Arab world of citizens 
     demanding transparency, reform, and representation;
       Whereas, on January 14, 2011, the peaceful mass protests of 
     the Jasmine Revolution successfully brought to an end the 
     authoritarian rule of President Ben Ali;
       Whereas, in the aftermath of Ben Ali's resignation, 
     Tunisians initiated a peaceful, consensus-based, inclusive, 
     and civilian-directed transition to democracy;
       Whereas, on January 26, 2014, the Tunisian Republic adopted 
     its first constitution drafted by a democratically elected 
     governing body, formally ending a period of transitional 
     governments;
       Whereas the new constitution of the Tunisian Republic 
     enshrines gender equality through enumerated rights and 
     responsibilities, protects the rights of minorities, and 
     specifically outlaws religiously motivated violence;
       Whereas, on October 26, 2014, the Tunisian Republic held 
     its first parliamentary elections under the new constitution, 
     which the international community praised as free and fair;
       Whereas, on December 31, 2014, after winning free and fair 
     presidential elections, Beiji Caid Essebsi was inaugurated as 
     the first freely elected President of the Tunisian Republic;
       Whereas, on October 9, 2015, the Norwegian Nobel Committee 
     awarded the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet, a coalition 
     of four civil society organizations, the 2015 Nobel Peace 
     Prize for the coalition's work in building on the promise of 
     the 2011 Jasmine Revolution and ensuring the transition of 
     the Tunisian Republic into a democracy did not descend into 
     violence;
       Whereas President Essebsi, Prime Minister Chahed, and other 
     political leaders of the Tunisian Republic have formed a 
     national unity government to work in the national interest of 
     the Tunisian Republic;
       Whereas the political evolution of the Tunisian Republic 
     stands as a model for citizens of other states aspiring to 
     establish the institutions of democracy after a history of 
     autocratic rule;
       Whereas, on March 18, 2015, a terrorist attack on the Bardo 
     National Museum killed 21 people;
       Whereas, on July 26, 2015, a terrorist attack on a beach in 
     the town of Sousse left 38 people, including 30 British 
     nationals, dead, and dealt a blow to tourism in the Tunisian 
     Republic, an important industry upon which the economy of the 
     Tunisian Republic depends;
       Whereas a terrorist attack on November 24, 2015, on the 
     Presidential Guard of the Tunisian Republic killed 12 people;
       Whereas, in the aftermath of these attacks, citizens and 
     leaders of the Tunisian Republic have reaffirmed their 
     commitment to dialogue, pluralism, and democracy;
       Whereas the Tunisian Republic continues to face serious 
     threats to its security from violent extremist groups 
     operating within the Tunisian Republic as well as in 
     neighboring countries;
       Whereas, in July 2015, the United States designated the 
     Tunisian Republic as a major non-NATO ally;
       Whereas the Government of the Tunisian Republic, as a 
     member of the Global Coalition to Counter the Islamic State 
     of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), is seeking to reduce the 
     significant number of Tunisian citizens who become foreign 
     fighters for ISIS;
       Whereas the Tunisian Republic faces economic challenges, 
     including high inflation and high unemployment, especially 
     among young Tunisians;
       Whereas Prime Minister Chahed has committed to combating 
     corruption and facilitating necessary economic reforms for 
     the prosperity of the people of the Tunisian Republic;
       Whereas the United States Government is committed to 
     continuing a strong economic partnership with the Tunisian 
     Republic as the Government of the Tunisian Republic 
     undertakes reforms to transform its economy to meet the 
     aspirations of all citizens of the Tunisian Republic;
       Whereas it is the interest of the United States, and 
     consistent with the values of the United States, to support 
     the aspirations of the people of the Tunisian Republic in 
     developing a pluralist democracy and transparent, effective 
     institutions;
       Whereas the Governments and people of the United States and 
     the Tunisian Republic have enjoyed friendly relations for 
     more than 200 years;
       Whereas, in accordance with the U.S.-Tunisia Strategic 
     Partnership, both countries are dedicated to working together 
     to promote economic development and business opportunities in 
     the Tunisian Republic, education for the advancement of long-
     term development in the Tunisian Republic, and increased 
     security cooperation to address common threats in the 
     Tunisian Republic and across the region; and
       Whereas the United States Government should provide a level 
     of funding to strongly assist and reinforce the promising 
     transition of the Tunisian Republic into a democratic, 
     stable, and prosperous nation: Now, therefore, be it
       Resolved, That the Senate--
       (1) welcomes Prime Minister Chahed on his first official 
     visit to the United States;
       (2) commends the political leaders of the Tunisian Republic 
     for their willingness to compromise and work together in the 
     national interest and form a national unity government;
       (3) reaffirms the commitment of the United States 
     Government to the Tunisian Republic, including a commitment 
     to provide appropriate levels of assistance, in support of 
     the ongoing transition of the Tunisian Republic to an 
     inclusive, prosperous, and secure democracy;
       (4) condemns all acts of terrorism, and extends condolences 
     to the families of victims of terrorism and to the people and 
     Government of the Tunisian Republic.
       (5) commends the people and Government of the Tunisian 
     Republic for their resilience in the face of terrorist 
     attacks and their enduring commitment to a free, democratic, 
     and peaceful Tunisian Republic;
       (6) encourages Prime Minister Chahed and the parliament of 
     the Tunisian Republic to work together to accelerate economic 
     reforms and anti-corruption measures;
       (7) looks forward to the continued implementation of the 
     2014 constitution of the Tunisian Republic, including the new 
     protections of civil liberties;
       (8) urges the authorities of the Tunisian Republic to 
     continue to make every effort to prevent the continued flow 
     of Tunisian jihadist ``foreign fighters'' to Syria and Iraq;
       (9) calls on the neighbors and partners of the Tunisian 
     Republic to work in concert with the Government of the 
     Tunisian Republic to counter terrorist threats, secure 
     borders, and support the democratic transition of the 
     Tunisian Republic;
       (10) strongly urges the Government of the Tunisian Republic 
     to cease support for all resolutions and other measures that 
     discriminate against or otherwise target Israel in the United 
     Nations Education, Science, and Cultural Organization 
     (UNESCO) and other United Nations organizations; and
       (11) reaffirms the historic and continuing friendship 
     between the people of the United States and the people of the 
     Tunisian Republic.

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