President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s statement put Turkish-Tunisian relations on the brink of a diplomatic crisis after he considered “the dissolution of the Tunisian parliament a blow to the will of the people.”
This prompted Tunisian President Kais Saied to respond to him, stressing that Tunisia is not an “Ottoman province waiting for an order”.
In a speech he delivered during his visit to Monastir to commemorate the 22nd anniversary of the departure of former President Habib Bourguiba (Wednesday), he stressed that his country rejects foreign interference in its affairs.
Saeed announced that he is going ahead with the political changes in the country, revealing that voting in the upcoming parliamentary elections, expected in December, will take place in two stages, and it will be on individuals and not on lists, as was the case in all previous elections.
He pointed out that the Independent Electoral Commission will supervise the elections, but not with the current structure, which deals a strong blow to the Brotherhood’s arm Ennahda movement and its allies after it launched a national dialogue that excludes (the Muslim Brotherhood).
The Tunisian president stressed that the dialogue has begun and that what he described as thieves will not participate in it.
In response to the Turkish intervention, Tunisia summoned Ankara’s ambassador to it.
Tunisian Foreign Minister Othman Al-Jarandi said that the ambassador was informed that Tunisia rejected Erdogan’s statements and considered them interference in Tunisian affairs and that the relations of the two countries should be based on respect for the independence of the national decision and the choices of the people alone.
The Tunisian FM had expressed (Tuesday) in a statement, its rejection of the statements made by the Turkish President.
The statement considered Erdogan unacceptable to interfere in internal affairs, completely contradicts the fraternal ties that unite the two countries and peoples, and the principle of mutual respect in relations between countries.
He added that “Tunisia is committed to the constants of its foreign policy and its keenness to build close relations with brotherly and friendly countries based on cooperation, solidarity, consultation, and mutual trust”.
It also adheres to the independence of its national decision, and strongly rejects every attempt to interfere with its sovereignty and the choices of its people or to question its irreversible democratic path.