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Tunisia: Foreign Ministry denies visit of Tunisian delegation to Israel

October 30, 2019 at 3:04 am

Tunisian flag raised up at Belvedere Park in Tunis on 20 March, 2017 [Amine Landoulsi/Anadolu Agency]

The Tunisian Foreign Ministry denied on Wednesday that a delegation comprising Tunisian citizens had visited Israel recently.

In a statement, obtained by the Anadolu Agency, the ministry called on “everybody not to make use of the Palestinian cause in settling adversities within domestic political matters.”

The statement stressed that the “information circulated on social media regarding the visit of a Tunisian youth delegation to Israel” is incorrect.

The statement added that “after acquiring further details from the EU mission in Tunisia, the EU institutions in Brussels, and inquiring in cooperation with the Palestinian authorities in Ramallah, and several other capitals, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirms that this news is unfounded.”

“The photos published are related to the visit of a European delegation, including a woman of Tunisian origins and a member of a Belgian party, whom the ministry did not name”, the ministry indicated.

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The ministry called on “everyone not to exploit the Palestinian cause in settling adversities within political and internal matters, and avoid bidding on supporting the just Palestinian cause, as a cause of national liberation, agreed upon by all segments of the Tunisian people.”

On Saturday, Tunisian journalist Burhan Besais posted on his Facebook page that “a trip of a Tunisian youth delegation will take place Sunday (27 October) from Brussels to Tel Aviv, as part of a youth peace program, under the supervision of the European Parliament.”

Besais added that “the Tunisian youth delegation will visit several Israeli institutions, including the Knesset (parliament).”

He said that “a Tunisian employee in the European Parliament is undertaking the overall coordination of the visit while (…) the German Embassy in Tunisia coordinated the process of granting visas to Israel (for the delegation).”

On Sunday, the official Tunisian news agency quoted the German embassy which denied “coordinating any trip to Israel”, stressing that it “had not granted any visa for this purpose.”

Last Wednesday, President Kais Saied asserted in his speech for the swearing-in ceremony that “Tunisia will always support all just causes, the first of which is the cause of our people in Palestine. The Palestinian right will not be debunked as many may fancy, because Palestine is not a piece of land registered in real estate records. Palestine will rather remain in the conscience of free Tunisians.”