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Thursday, 16 September 2021

World reacts with concern and caution to Tunisia political turmoil

Here are some reactions from countries around the world to Sunday's presidential announcement of sacking the premiere and suspension of parliament

AFP , Monday 26 Jul 2021
Tunisia
Supporters of Tunisian President Kais Saied chant slogans denouncing Assembly (parliament) speaker and Islamist Annahda party leader Rached Ghannouchi in front of the Parliament which was cordoned-off in the capital Tunis. AFP
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Tunisian President Kais Saied's decision to suspend parliament and dimiss his prime minister sparked protests at home where the biggest political party, the Islamist Ennahda, decried its as a "coup".

Foreign governments voiced concern and caution. Here are some reactions from countries around the world to Sunday's shock announcement.

US

The United States on Monday voiced alarm over the Tunisian president's sacking of the government and called on the birthplace of the Arab Spring to adhere to "democratic principles."
 
"We're concerned about the developments in Tunisia," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters.
 
"We are in touch at a senior level," she said, and "urge calm and support Tunisian efforts to move forward in line with democratic principles."
 
France
 
France on Monday urged a return "as soon as possible" to the "normal functioning" of government in Tunisia after President Kais Saied ousted the prime minister and suspended parliament.
 
The foreign ministry also called "on all of the country's political forces to avoid any form of violence and to preserve the country's democratic gains.
 
Germany 

A spokeswoman for the foreign ministry, Maria Adebahr, told reporters that Germany hoped Tunisia would return "as soon as possible to constitutional order".

"Democracy has taken roots in Tunisia since 2011", Adebahr said, referring to the year of the popular revolution that toppled dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Germany was "very worried" she said, adding however: "We don't want to speak of a coup d'etat".

"It is important to return to constitutional order as quickly as possible," Adebahr said.

"We will certainly try to discuss (the situation) with the Tunisian ambassador in Berlin, and our ambassador in Tunis is ready to engage in discussions."

Russia

Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov, in brief comments, said Russia was monitoring developments in Tunisia.

"We hope that nothing will threaten the stability and security of the people of that country," he told reporters at a daily phone briefing.

Turkey

The foreign ministry said it was "deeply concerned" by the latest development in Tunisia and called for the restoration of "democratic legitimacy".

"The preservation of Tunisia's democratic achievements, which is a success story in terms of the democratic process conducted in line with the expectations of people in the region, is of great importance for the region as well as for Tunisia," the ministry said.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, tweeted: "We reject the suspension of the democratic process and the disregard of the people's democratic will in friendly and brotherly Tunisia.

"We condemn initiatives that lack constitutional legitimacy and public support. We believe Tunisia democracy will emerge stronger from this process."

European Union

In a written statement, EU Commission spokesperson Nabila Massrali said Monday, “We call on all Tunisian actors to respect the Constitution, its institutions and the rule of law. We also call on them to remain calm and to avoid any resort to violence in order to preserve the stability of the country.”

Qatar

Qatar called on Tunisia’s political forces to “prioritise the interests of the people, follow the voice of wisdom, and avoid escalation and its implications on Tunisia’s experience that earned regional and international respect.”

In a statement published by its foreign ministry, Doha said it is closely following the developments in the North African state.

“Qatar hopes that the Tunisian parties would choose dialogue to overcome the crisis, consolidate the foundations of its institutions, and establish the rule of law,” the statement added.

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