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Tunisian foreign minister 'fired over Libya stance': reports

President Saied has repeatedly reaffirmed Tunisia's neutrality in neighbouring Libya's conflict [Getty]

Date of publication: 24 July, 2020

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Tunisian Foreign Minister Noureddine Erray has voiced his support for Libya's UN-backed Government of National Accord, the reports said.
Tunisian Foreign Minister Noureddine Erray has "been sacked" by President Qais Saied, media reports claimed on Friday.

Several reports cited disputes between the Foreign Ministerand Saied over Libya as the cause of the alleged dismissal.

Erray supports Libya's internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA), and has reportedly called for its recognition alone, while the Tunisian leader is adamant on not favouring sides in the Libyan conflict. 

President Saied has repeatedly reaffirmed Tunisia's neutrality in neighbouring Libya's conflict and in June condemned foreign interference in the country. 

The New Arab could not independently verify the reports. The foreign ministry did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication.

Tunisia observer Med Dhia Hammami said ongoing tensions between the two officials have been an "an open secret for a while," and claimed in a tweet that Erray "was not involved in major [foreign policy] decisions" as a result.

Shems fm – a private Tunisian radio station – reported that Erray will be replaced by a caretaker minister until the formation of a cabinet later in the summer.

Read also: Tunisia president's diplomacy raises questions after UN envoy dismissal over Trump's controversial peace plan

Tunisian political parties clashed in parliament in early June over the country's position on the conflict in neighbouring Libya.

Speaker Rached Ghannouchi, head of the Islamist-inspired Ennahdha movement, was accused of pursuing a parallel foreign policy backing Turkey. He responded by accusing his rivals of using the Libyan conflict for domestic political ends.

Libya is currently divided between the UN-recognised GNA in Tripoli and forces loyal to the eastern-based renegade commander Khalifa Haftar, who announced plans to seize the Libyan capitan last year.

Turkey backs the GNA, while the UAE and Egypt support Haftar, also suspected of receiving French backing.



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