In light of the recent Russian move of sending advanced MiG-29 fighter and SU-34 ground attack jets to Libya, the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM), is in talks with neighboring Tunisia to bolster ties between the two nations. 

U.S. Army General Stephen Townsend, the Commander of AFRICOM, spoke via phone with Imed Hazgui, Minister of Defense of the Republic of Tunisia. They discussed opportunities for upcoming training and planning exercises and reaffirmed the strong ties between the two countries.

Since 2011, the United States has invested more than $1 billion in the Tunisian military. The two countries have worked together and have enhanced Tunisian border security, military intelligence, and air-ground operations.

Tunisia’s military faces the violence raging in Libya to its east; while on its western border with Algeria it faces Islamic jihadist fighters from both al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (ISIS).