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Tunisia President Reaffirms Libya Neutrality

Tunisia President Reaffirms Libya Neutrality

Saturday, 6 June, 2020 - 06:00
President Kais Saied is pictured after unofficial results of the Tunisian presidential election in Tunis, Tunisia, September 15, 2019. REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi

Tunisian President Kais Saied on Friday reaffirmed his country’s neutrality in Libya's conflict during a telephone call with his French counterpart, the presidency said.

"Tunisia, which is committed to its sovereignty as well as the sovereignty of Libya, will never be a rear base for any party" to the conflict, Saied told President Emmanuel Macron, his office said.

Libya's Government of National Accord, heavily backed by Turkey, on Friday announced it had taken the town of Tarhouna from the Libyan National Army of Khalifa Haftar.

On Thursday, a stormy session of Tunisia's parliament saw Speaker Rached Ghannouchi, head of Ennahdha party, accused of pursuing a parallel foreign policy that backed Turkey.

Libyan leaders in late May revealed a telephone conversation between Ghannouchi and GNA head Fayez al-Sarraj, in which the former congratulated the latter on a recent military success.

Ghannouchi pledged at the end of the parliamentary session to review his positions so to avoid any duality over Tunisia's foreign policy, which is officially a presidential domain.

The French presidency said Saied and Macron also discussed policy responses to the coronavirus pandemic.

Tunisian Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh said Friday that the country has overcome the pandemic with the least possible damages.

“The battle today lies in bringing the country out of its fragile economic situation and difficult social conditions,” he said.

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