Panetta Offers a Helping Hand

The Secretary of Defense has offered to help Tunisia fight terrorism.


U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Monday said Washington was ready to help Tunisia develop its capacities to combat al-Qaida, and urged closer regional cooperation in fighting the terror network.

"The U.S. Department of Defense stands ready to help Tunisia to ensuring regional stability, to strengthen the capabilities of its defense institutions," Panetta told reporters after meeting President Moncef Marzouki.

It was the first visit to the North African country by a U.S. defense secretary since the popular uprising that toppled Tunisian dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January last year and touched off the Arab Spring.