PARIS, July 17 (Xinhua) -- French President Francois Hollande and visiting Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki on Tuesday expressed their willingness to bolster political, economic and social links between the traditional partners.
In his first official visit to Paris after taking power a year ago, Marzouki, a former Tunisian dissent, met with Hollande in hope to shape a more balanced relationship.
"After the revolution period, there is a need to ensure the transitional one and France has to be on your side, which means to respond to all your demands on debts, aids and economic and trade relations," Hollande said.
In a joint press conference, Marzouki said the three-day visit "will reinforce relations already strong (between Paris and Tunis)."
"We know that you will help us during the country's difficult reconstruction period. We need the help of all of our friends and (France) is probably the best one," he said.
"We hope we do not stop in good feelings but we will translate all of them into action that can be beneficial both for France and Tunisia," added Marzouki, who had been a political prisoner under the ousted former president's regime.
Marzouki, a former refugee in France for two decades, was scheduled to address the French National Assermbly on Wednesday morning before heading to Marseille in southern France to meet members of the Tunisian community.