Creating new perspectives since 2009

Algeria ambassador to Italy sparks controversy with ‘Tunisia stability’ remarks

May 27, 2023 at 11:34 am

Algerian flags. [RYAD KRAMDI/AFP/Getty Images]

Abdelkrim Touahria has sparked controversy after informing Italian news agency Nova that his country: “Works closely with Italy to maintain stability in Tunisia.”

Touahria explained: “We are fully committed to addressing the situation in Tunisia, which concerns us, and we closely cooperate with Italy to prevent any form of instability in this country. Our common goal is to contribute to maintaining stability in Tunisia.”

Former deputy Majdi Al-Karbawi commented: “Where are the ‘national sovereign line’ group? So if there is no talk about Turkey, democracy and human rights, they remain silent! Tell us now, are we affiliated with Algeria or Italy?”

READ: Algeria: Controversy over Emir Abdelkader statue

Al-Quds Al-Arabi researcher and political activist Hassan Zarkouni criticised Touahria’s statement: “How will Algeria coordinate with Italy to maintain stability in Tunisia? Will this be done through the GALSI project for gas transportation, which ignores Tunisian territory, knowing that nearly 55 per cent of the gas in Tunisia comes from Algeria and that 98 per cent of electricity is gas-generated? Or will it be through allowing the pollution of the Mjerdah Basin with industrial and urban waste? Or by misusing the shared groundwater resources between the Algerian Souf Valley and the Tunisian Ghardimaou region, which goes against our bilateral agreements and treaties?”

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni stirred controversy months ago when she revealed she had discussed “expected scenarios in Tunisia” with President Abdelmajid Tebboune, causing outrage in Tunisia.

Tebboune further sparked contention when he stated that his country had agreed with Italy to assist Tunisia in returning to the democratic path.

READ: Algeria hosts int’l conference marking Nakba 75