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Algeria, Tunisia presidents' call shows ties are undamaged, reports claim

February 16, 2023 at 12:07 pm

Tunisian President Kais Saied is welcomed by Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune at the Houari Boumediene Airport in Algiers, Algeria on November 01, 2022. Algerian Presidency/Anadolu Agency]

Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune and his Tunisian counterpart Kais Saied held a phone call and spoke of the “stable, fraternal, bilateral relations between the two brotherly countries,” denying reports that there is a rift between the nations Algerian political activist Amira Bouraoui escaped to France from Tunisia.

Reports appear to indicate that Tebboune initiated contact to reassure Saied of Algeria’s keenness to maintain strong relations with its neighbour and to refute news of a crisis between the two countries.

News of a rift surfaced after Algerian activist Amira Bouraoui travelled to France via Tunisia after she crossed the Algerian border illegally. There had been reports that Tunisian President Kais Saied personally authorised her to leave Tunisia.

“Algerian-Tunisian relations are strong, especially in the last three years, and they will not be affected by media exaggerations with known goals for the French media that they, along with their planners, did not like to see Algeria taking its sovereign decisions,” Algeria’s Minister of Communication Mohamed Bouslimani has previously said denying reports of tensions. “Algeria has chosen to stand with Tunisia.”

The minister accused the French press of desperately trying to exploit Bouraoui’s case to destabilise the strong and fraternal relations between Algeria and Tunisia. During the first few hours after Buraoui left Tunisia, hundreds of Tunisians remained stranded at the border crossings after they tried to enter Algeria. This was interpreted as a diplomatic crisis between the two countries.

In an interview with TV5 Monde, Bouraoui confirmed that she had left Algeria illegally and entered Tunisia through the Oum Teboul border crossing in the province of El Tarf in the far north-east of Algeria. She added that no one aided her escape. The French embassy, she added, was not aware of her actions until she was “abducted” in Tunisia by the police and lawyers and human rights organisations started to talk about the case.

READ: Signs of diplomatic crisis between Algeria, France over activist’s flight