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Tunisia: Ennahda condemns official 'courtesy' towards Israel at COP27

Tunisian Prime Minister Najla Bouden speaks at the ceremony in Tunis, Tunisia on May 07, 2022 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]
Tunisian Prime Minister Najla Bouden speaks at the ceremony in Tunis, Tunisia on May 07, 2022 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]

Tunisia's Ennahda movement has criticised the "courtesy" shown by Tunisian officials towards Israel, with some calling for normalisation of relations, Al-Quds Al-Arabi has reported. This, said Ennahda, confirms the "insincerity" of President Kais Saied's oft-repeated slogan that "normalisation is high treason".

"The movement rejects all forms of normalisation with the occupation state that usurps Palestinian land," said Ennahda on Saturday. "This includes the courtesy shown to representatives of the occupation state and communications with then, as happened at the UN Climate Change Conference in Egypt."

Some diplomats, added the movement, call explicitly for normalisation. "Suspicions about normalisation taking place have been raised since the July 2021 coup [sic], which indicates that the slogan 'normalisation is high treason' is not believed by those who use it."

The "smile" exchanged between Tunisian Prime Minister Najla Bouden and Israeli President Isaac Herzog at COP27 sparked widespread controversy in Tunisia, prompting calls for Saied to dismiss Bouden.

A Tunisian diplomat has also been criticised after describing the Israeli president as a "peace advocate" and talking about the possibility of Tunisia signing a "peace agreement" with the occupation state if it receives such a request from the Palestinian leadership.

Furthermore, Ennahda also denounced the Tunisian authority's "intentional abuse" of opposition groups and individuals by filing "fabricated" lawsuits against them. "This is intended to distract public attention from the real problems affecting the country, especially the suffering due to high prices and the shortages of basic essentials. Such legal cases are intended to cover up the failure to manage the country while deepening the political and economic crises and the dangers of civil unrest."

The continued targeting of Ennahda leader Rached Ghannouchi was highlighted in this respect. "There has been a series of fabricated cases… and pressure on the judiciary to… attack Ghannouchi for his and the movement's position regarding the coup that turned against the legitimate institutions, the constitution, the law and the gains of the revolution of freedom and dignity in general."

READ: Tunisia labour union warns gov't not to reform public sector for IMF funding

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