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Tunisian President says no objection to restoring relations with Syria

Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi
Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi [File photo]

Tunisia's President, Béji Caid Essebsi, said there is no substantive obstacle after the situation stabilises to restoring relations with Syria.

The President explained during a meeting with a delegation of Tunisian parliamentarians who recently visited Syria that the Tunisian authorities had not completely severed diplomatic ties with Syria but had maintained a consular representation in Damascus to safeguard Tunisian interests.

The delegation included MPs: Mbarka Brahmi, Abdul Aziz al-Quti and Manji Rahawi who described the visit as a bid to preserve relations between the two countries despite the severing of ties at ambassadorial level in 2012. The delegation met with senior Syrian officials including President, Bashar Al- Assad.

Former Tunisian president, Moncef Marzouki

Former Tunisian president, Moncef Marzouki

However, the head of WAFA movement, Abdel Raouf Al-Ayadi, described the delegation visit as opportunistic, "The delegation that visited Syria and met Syrian officials including Assad does not represent the parliament or the Tunisian revolution. They have no ideological or political basis for their visit but are merely profiting from political instability currently being experienced in our country," he said.

Former President, Al-Marzouqi decided in February 2012 to sever diplomatic relations with the Syrian regime and to expel the Syrian ambassador from Tunisia. He cited the increasing civilian casualties caused by Syrian government forces, according to a statement issued by the presidency at the time.

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