Senior Ennahda leader and former Tunisian Prime Minister Ali Al-Areed has said that asking France to apologise for its occupation “harms Tunisians’ interests”, Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported yesterday.
Taking to Twitter, Al-Areed wrote: “Proposing this issue today and amidst these climates would harm Tunis and Tunisians’ interests, as well as our relationship with France, the French society and leading to controversy over our relationship.”
He added: “France is the first ally for Tunis, the first provider and the first investor. About one million Tunisians live in France.”
His remarks came as parliament yesterday debated a motion calling on France, which occupied the country between 1881 and 1956, to apologise for crimes committed “during and after colonisation”.
The text, Tunisian media reported, calls on France to apologise for “assassinations… rapes… the pillaging of natural resources” and a list of “other crimes committed since 1881”, including supporting former Tunisian Dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.