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Morocco king in Tunis for first visit since 2011 uprising

Eleven ministers and some 90 businessmen accompany Morocco king to Tunisia as both countries sign 23 bilateral agreements
King Mohammed VI (L) of Morocco is welcomed by Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki during his visit to Tunis on May 30, 2014 (AA)

Moroccan King Mohamed VI arrived in Tunis Friday for his first official visit to the country since the January 2011 popular uprising that toppled a decades-old dictatorship, an AFP photographer said.

The king, whose three-day visit comes at the invitation of Moncef Marzouki, was met by the Tunisian president at the airport in Aouina near the capital mid-afternoon.

Eleven ministers and some 90 businessmen are accompanying the king on the visit, his first since the January 2011 uprising that unseated Tunisia's longtime dictator, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, and touched off the Arab Spring uprisings across the region.

According to Tunisia's official news agency TAP, "twenty three co-operation agreements [were signed at Carthage Palace] in the areas of security, economy, tourism, health, education, environment, energy and mines."

The bilateral agreements are in both the private and public sectors.

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Morocco's official news agency MAP gave a brief overview of each one of the 23 agreements, noting that the "signing of these agreements reflects the will to support the transition that Tunisia is undergoing."

Mohamed VI will also meet Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa on Saturday and give a speech to the National Constituent Assembly.

Shortly after his election to the presidency in 2012, Marzouki visited Morocco, a country he is familiar with having lived there.

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