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Tunisia's new prime minister returns home from US visit with Obama, hails new American aid

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TUNIS, Tunisia — Tunisia's new prime minister says the United States will provide security equipment and training for Tunisian forces and new loan guarantees to help the North African country stabilize and rebuild.

Mehdi Jomaa returned Sunday from a trip to Washington where he met with President Barack Obama. He told reporters at Tunis' airport that the countries planned to "intensify our cooperation in the fight against terrorism."

Jomaa said the United States also extended $500 million in new loan guarantees to Tunisia and lifted a State Department warning about traveling there. He called the measures "a strong message" that could reinforce investor confidence and stability in Tunisia.

Tunisia has faced sporadic violence and political instability since longtime President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was driven into exile in January 2011.

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