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Tunisia Refutes Reports it Wants to Normalize Ties with Israel

Tunisia Refutes Reports it Wants to Normalize Ties with Israel

Friday, 10 June, 2022 - 08:45
Police patrol in the town of Hara Sghira near the Ghriba synagogue of the Tunisian resort island of Djerba on May 19, 2022. (AFP)

Tunisia’s Foreign Ministry refuted reports by Israeli media that it was holding talks with Tel Aviv to normalize relations with it.

In a statement, it stressed it was not interested in establishing diplomatic ties with Israel.

It further underlined that the country - on the official and popular levels and as stated by President Kais Saied - will always support the Palestinian people in their struggle to restore their legitimate rights, starting with the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.

Tunisian authorities said some Israeli websites have repeatedly published rumors in an attempt to harm Tunisia’s image and its firm position in support of the inalienable Palestinian rights.

During his electoral campaign in 2019, Saied described normalization with Israel as “high treason.”

Several Tunisian opposition groups have however, cited their country's economic crisis and pressure to ease it in return for normalizing ties with Israel.

They also criticized Tunisian authorities for agreeing to welcome Jewish pilgrims, holding Israeli passports, to the Ghriba Synagogue in the southern resort island of Djerba in May.

The authorities rejected the criticism.

Minister of Religious Affairs Brahim Chaibi said the government's visit to the island had tourist purposes and was not connected to normalizing ties with Israel.

He slammed the criticism, adding that the visit was being exploited for political gain.

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