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Ghannouchi denies making US base pledge

February 17, 2015 at 10:57 am

Rashid Ghannouchi has denied a media report which claims that in 2012 he pledged to set up a US airbase and an Israel liaison office in Tunisia’s Remada Tataouine province. The head of the country’s Ennahda Party told Anadolu that the claim by a London-based website is “groundless, fabricated and deceptive.”

A statement from Ennahda noted that Mr Ghannouchi retains the right to prosecute those who publish such “falsehoods”.

According to the website in question, “Sources who preferred anonymity revealed that Republican US Senator John McCain paid a surprise visit to Tunisia last week and expressed to President Beji Caid Essebsi America’s desire to establish a military base south of Tunisia to assist the region’s countries mainly Tunisia, Algeria and Libya, in the fight against terrorist groups.”

The article went on to claim that the request was rejected by the president, even though “the head of the Islamist Ennahda movement, Rashid Ghannouchi, pledged this to Washington in 2012 a year after the movement won the elections in 2011.”