Algeria ambassador to Italy backlash over Tunisia comments


Ambassador Abdelkrim Touahria has received backlash from Tunisia over comments he made to Italian news agency Nova about Algeria’s commitment to “maintain stability in Tunisia.”

Touahria said, “We are fully committed to addressing the situation in Tunisia, which concerns us, and we closely cooperate with Italy to prevent any form of instability in this country. Our common goal is to contribute to maintaining stability in Tunisia.”

The recent controversy follows an earlier dispute a few months back from comments from Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, according to Middle East Monitor. She had revealed to the press that her and Algerian President Abdelmajid Tebboune had been discussing the ongoing situation and “expected scenarios in Tunisia.” 

READ: Algerian-Italian arms deals could backfire

Tunisian backlash points out the irony that similar statements have not been made in regards to the democratic backsliding occurring in Turkey and the human rights abuses of Erdogan. 

“Where are the ‘national sovereign line’ group? So if there is no talk about Turkey, democracy and human rights, they remain silent! Tell us now, are we affiliated with Algeria or Italy?” said former deputy Majdi Al-Karbawi. 

READ: Italian PM Meloni set to visit Tunisia over immigration row

Hassan Zarkouni, political activist and Al-Quds Al-Arabi researcher, also noted the hypocrisy of the ambassador’s statement by reminding him of Algeria’s abuses of Tunisian sovereignty. 

“How will Algeria coordinate with Italy to maintain stability in Tunisia? Will this be done through the GALSI project for gas transportation, which ignores Tunisian territory, knowing that nearly 55 per cent of the gas in Tunisia comes from Algeria and that 98 per cent of electricity is gas-generated? Or will it be through allowing the pollution of the Mjerdah Basin with industrial and urban waste?” Zarkouni stated.

The situation has further deteriorated after President Tebboune made further comments that Algeria was working with Italy to further democratic progress in Tunisia. 


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