Contact: Yvonne French (202) 707-9191

November 5, 1997

Library of Congress Conference To Focus on Tunisia

WHAT: Conference: "Tunisia Past and Present"

WHO: Houda Kanoun, member of the Tunisian Parliament Aicha Bel Abed, deputy director of the National Institute of Patrimony and National Museums Moncef Cheikhrouhou, general director of Essabah and LeTemps Press Group

WHEN: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 18

WHERE: Mumford Room, James Madison Memorial Building, Library of Congress, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C.

BACKGROUND: The program will feature talks by three Tunisian officials. Mrs. Kanoun will address "Social and Human Development in Tunisia." Mrs. Bel Abed will talk about "Patrimony and Cooperation in the Field of Archeology." Mr. Cheikhrouhou will speak about "Economic Reforms in Tunisia and Tunisian-American Business Relations."

President Bill Clinton and Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali discussed Tunisia's 200-year trade agreement with the United States in an exchange of correspondence on August 28. In his message to the American president, Mr. Ben Ali stated: "It is my conviction that our two countries will succeed in preserving these precious links and will continue to work together to find new means for their continued reinforcement, both to further the interests of our peoples and the well-being of our future generations, and as a contribution to the realization of the lofty values in which they believe and to the establishment of peace and prosperity all over the world."

From the White House, Mr. Clinton wrote to the President of the Republic of Tunisia: "On August 28, 1797, when representatives of our two nations signed in Tunis a Treaty of Amity, Commerce, and Navigation, I doubt they dreamed that the bonds they were forging that day would continue to bind us so well and for so long. In fact, for 200 years our relationship has stood the test of time, has grown closer, and, I hope, will continue to prosper." It is on this occasion of the bicentennial of Tunisian- American relations that the African and Middle Eastern Division of the Library of Congress, together with the Embassy of Tunisia, will hold the conference "Tunisia Past and Present." The event is free and open to the public.

Interpreting services (American Sign Language, Contact Signing, Oral and/or Tactile) will be provided if requested five business days in advance of the event. Call (202) 707-6362 TTY and voice to make a specific request. For other ADA accommodations, contact the Disability Employment office at (202) 707-9948 TTY and (202) 707-7544 voice. After the conference a reception will be held and a number of historical documents will be on display.

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PR 97-192
ISSN 0731-3527

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