Tunisia denies alliance with any party in Libya

Xinhua , Friday 27 Dec 2019

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, left, speaks with Tunisian President Kais Saied during a meeting, in Tunis, Tunisia, Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2019. AP

The Tunisian presidency denied late on Thursday that the North African country is involved in any alliance with any party in Libya.

"Tunisia will not accept to be a member of any alliance," the presidential statement said.

"The head of state is determined to preserve Tunisia's sovereignty, independence and free decision, and this cannot in any case be the subject of any debate," it said.

The presidency stressed that false statements, interpretations and allegations that emerged since Wednesday were either due to misunderstanding and misjudgment, or from the same sources carrying out defamation campaigns.

"These lies and smear campaigns can in no way divert the attention of the Tunisian people to their real problems, particularly economic and social ones," said the presidency.

Tunisia also denounced statements made by the Minister of Interior of Libya’s internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA), Fathi Bashagha, who said that a Turkish-Tunisian-Algerian alliance was formed to support the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan paid an unexpected visit to Tunisia earlier this week to meet President Kais Saied and discuss developments in neighbouring Libya.

Erdoğan said Tunisia, Algeria, and Qatar should participate in the Berlin conference on the Libyan crisis in January. Media reports quoted Erdoğan as saying that Tunisia could have a “valuable and constructive contribution” to restoring stability in Libya.

However, Rachida Ennaiferm, the Media in-Charge at the Tunisian Presidency said the country’s stance on the Libyan crisis was neutral and insisted that the country would not participate in any coalition.

“We are on alert to prevent Tunisia from turning into a corridor for ISIS,” she said.

* This story was edited by Ahram Online.

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