Egyptian Foreign Ministry headquarters in Cairo (photo: AP)
The Tunisian authorities have detained two Egyptian fishing boats for illegal fishing into the Tunisian territorial waters, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.
The ministry did not give information about the number of fishermen onboard.
The ministry, in coordination with the Egyptian embassy in Tunisia is following up on the developments related to the conditions of the detained fishermen, said Assistant Foreign Minister for Consular Affairs, Ambassador Amr Mahmoud Abbas.
He added that the ministry is communicating with the embassy also to ensure the safety of the fishermen, watch updates of the investigations on the incident and coordinate with the Tunisian authorities to bring the fishermen back to Egypt.
Abbas called on the Egyptian fishermen to respect the sovereignty of other countries by avoiding entering their territorial waters. He urged them to refrain from such practices also to protect their lives and avoid being held accountable under the laws of these countries.
Abbas added that these countries always care for the Egyptian expats residing there and take the good relations with Egypt into consideration.
The incident comes nearly a week after Tunisian authorities arrested 17 fishermen over similar practices.
Egyptian fishermen were arrested in the territorial waters of neighbouring countries like Sudan, Libya and Tunisia in the past years.
Cairo has repeatedly intervened in these cases to ensure the release of the fishermen and has warned against trespassing in foreign waters.