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Tunisia Warns of 'Exceptional Measures' on Border With Libya

Tunisia Warns of 'Exceptional Measures' on Border With Libya

Tuesday, 21 January, 2020 - 09:45
Tunisian security forces check vehicles near the border crossing with Libya (File photo: AFP)

Tunisia threatened it would take “appropriate exceptional measures” on its borders with Libya to secure and maintain national security in the face of any possible escalation in the neighboring country.

The Tunisian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that Tunisia “has a direct interest in restoring security and peace in Libya.”

The Ministry explained it didn’t change its stance regarding the Libyan crisis based on adhering to international legitimacy and standing at equal distance from all parties to the conflict.

The Ministry stressed the need to find a political solution stemming from the free will of the Libyans themselves away from external interference. It also announced the government could resort to “extraordinary measures” on its eastern border if the situation worsened inside Libya.

Tunis refused unilateral cooperation with any of the two warring parties, which could be interpreted that the government may not cooperate with international organizations in the event of the influx of Libyan and foreign refugees on its borders, as it did in 2011 during the revolution against Muammar Gaddafi.

Earlier, Tunisia refused to participate in the Berlin summit on Libya saying it was a last-minute invitation and it was not part of the preparatory talks that started in September 2019.

Germany did not extend the invitation to Tunis as it did with the other parties involved in the conflict, which created a wide political debate in Tunisia about the reasons for the absence, despite being one of the neighboring countries most affected by the events in Libya.

In related news, Tunisian President Kais Saied received a phone call from French President Emmanuel Macron informing him of the results of Berlin conference and the development of the Libyan case.

The two presidents insisted on the need of Tunisia's participation in any upcoming initiative.

Macron informed Saied of his understanding of the fact that Tunisia had not participated in the Berlin conference.

Saied pointed that due to its geographical closeness to Libya, Tunisia is the most affected country by the situation in Libya.

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