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Tunisia parliament slams interior minister for accepting citizens deported from France

A Tunisian citizen shows his passport on in Paris, during a demonstration to protest against French state's politics regarding Tunisian migrants on 28 April 2011 [JOEL SAGET/AFP /Getty Images]
A Tunisian citizen shows his passport on in Paris, during a demonstration to protest against French state's politics regarding Tunisian migrants on 28 April 2011 [JOEL SAGET/AFP /Getty Images]

The Tunisian parliament criticised Interior Minister Tawfiq Sharaf Eddine for accepting Tunisian citizens deported from France, the New Khaleej reported yesterday.

Osama Al-Khulaifi, head of the parliamentary bloc of the Heart of Tunisia party, said: "It seems that there is a systemic policy" to deport Tunisians from abroad, stressing: "This is very dangerous."

Tunisian media reported Al-Khulaifi commenting on Sharaf Eddine's remarks that the Constitution does not prevent accepting returnees, saying: "The Constitution accepts the voluntary return of Tunisians abroad, not accepting deportees."

"We have a framework agreement between us and France, dating back to 2008, that organises the return of Tunisians, and whoever proves to be Tunisian is welcome in his country, according to the guarantees laid down by the Tunisian constitution in this regard," Sharaf Eddine said.

READ: Human rights organisations call on Europe not to pressure Tunisia over illegal migrants

Adding that this was dealt with on a case by case basis, not "mass deportation".

He said this decision proves the "weakness" of President Kais Saied as his government could not stand up to external pressure.

During his visit to Tunisia on Friday, French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin discussed the deportation of 20 Tunisians with Saied and his prime minister.

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