Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki is asking the United States for 12 Black Hawk helicopters to meet a threat by al-Qaida terrorists.
Marzouki, who is in Washington for the African leaders' summit, said Tuesday Tunisia badly needs the helicopters .
He said the country may also need night vision and other communications equipment.
Marzouki said Tunisian leaders may have been a little "naive" not to expect terrorist attacks in the years following the 2011 revolution.
The Pentagon said last month that the State Department has approved the possible sale of the helicopters to Tunisia, saying it would contribute to improving security in a friendly North African country.