Israel ties ‘not on agenda’ for Tunisia: PM

Israel ties ‘not on agenda’ for Tunisia: PM
Tunisian Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi speaks to the press after a meeting with his French counterpart at the Hotel Matignon in Paris on December 14, 2020. (File/AFP)
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Updated 15 December 2020

Israel ties ‘not on agenda’ for Tunisia: PM

Israel ties ‘not on agenda’ for Tunisia: PM
  • Last week, Morocco became the fourth country in the Arab League to recognize Israel since August

PARIS: Tunisia has no plans to match Morocco’s decision to recognize Israel, Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi said, insisting that establishing relations with the Jewish state was “not on the agenda.”
Last week, Morocco became the fourth country in the Arab League to recognize Israel since August, in a flurry of diplomatic deals brokered by outgoing US President Donald Trump.
The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan have also recently normalized ties with Israel as part of a push that weakens the Arab world’s previously united front over the Palestinians’ struggle for statehood.
“We respect Morocco’s choice, Morocco is a sister country that we love very much,” Mechichi told France 24 broadcaster in an interview late Monday.
But, he said, “for Tunisia, the question is not on the agenda.”
Mechichi said he had not been approached by the Trump administration about the issue.
“Every country has its own reality, its own truth and its own diplomacy, which it considers best for its people,” he said.
Neighbouring Algeria took a less charitable view of the deal struck with arch-rival Morocco, under which Washington recognized Morocco’s sovereignty over the disputed Western Sahara region in exchange for Rabat normalizing ties with Israel.
Algeria, which backs the Polisario independence movement in Western Sahara, said the move was part of “foreign maneuvers which aim to destabilize Algeria.”