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Tunisia: civil society groups call on president to reject credentials of US ambassador

Tunisia's President Kais Saied [JOHANNA GERON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images]
Tunisia's President Kais Saied [JOHANNA GERON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images]

Civil society groups and parties in Tunisia have called on President Kais Saied to refuse to accept the credentials of the new US Ambassador, Joey Hood, because of his position in favour of normalisation with the occupation state of Israel.

Moreover, they pointed out that in a recent speech to Congress, Hood said, "If confirmed, I would use all tools of US influence to advocate for a return to democratic governance and mitigate Tunisians' suffering from Putin's devastating war, economic mismanagement and political upheaval." This, insist the groups, is "interference" in Tunisia's internal affairs.

The US official's statement was condemned across the North African country. The League for the Defence of Human Rights called on President Saied to refuse to accept the proposed ambassador's credentials, because his statements "violate national sovereignty" and "call for normalisation with Israel."

Former Foreign Minister Ahmed Wanis suggested that Hood has "failed" in his mission before starting it, not least because he said that he will seek to get Tunisia to join the Abraham Accords through which some Arab states have normalised relations with Israel. "They want to drag Tunisia to join those countries on the basis of a deal that involves granting Tunisia financial aid in exchange for recognition of Israel," explained Wanis.

The Ba'ath movement also demanded that the Tunisian authorities should not approve Hood's appointment. "Instead," said the movement, "he should be treated as persona non grata."

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