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UAE 'explains' Tunisian women 'travel ban'

Tunisian women were allegedly prevented from flying out to the UAE [Getty]

Date of publication: 24 December, 2017

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An alleged ban on Tunisian women travelling to the UAE was down to a security mix-up, the country's foreign minister has claimed, following outrage in North Africa about the measures.

The UAE has blamed a security mix-up for an alleged travel ban on Tunisian women to the Gulf country, which caused international outcry back in the North African state.

"We contacted our Tunisian brothers about security information that necessitated taking specific procedures," UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said on his Twitter account.

"We should avoid misleading attempts... We highly value Tunisian women and respect them."

It follows delays for Tunisian women travelling to the UAE, which have been described as a travel ban by some media outlets.

The women who were due to travel on Emirati airlines to the UAE said they had to go through an additional examination of their visas, sparking outrage in Tunisia.

Tunis has been angered by the alleged ban and called in the UAE ambassador for details on the matter.

The envoy explained that the restrictions were temporary and have since been lifted.

Tunisian rights groups were not placated by this explanation and denounced the measures as "discriminatory and racist".

Tunisia and the UAE have had troubled relations since the 2011 revolution, overthrew the North African state's long-time dictator Zine El Abedine Ben Ali.

The election of a Muslim Brotherhood-linked political party - with close ties to Qatar - has worsened these ties, although recent efforts have been made to improve relations.

Agencies contributed to this story.

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