Tunisia: PM vague about French relations slump

Tunisia: PM vague about French relations slump

Tunisia’s Prime Minister Ahmed Hachani blamed unspecified parties for seeking to harm its French relations on March 8th, according to The National.

Standing alongside France’s prime minister, Gabriel Attal, Hachani stated: “These are parties that do not like the reinforcement of our relations with France and are trying to stem the machine [of co-operation].”

The PM added that that he is looking forward to putting the past behind and hoped that his visit would lead to a new phase in the countries’ relations, blaming “mischievous” parties and “misunderstandings” for their recent stagnation.

Hachani’s Paris visit coincided with a special Tunisia episode by Enquetes, an investigative TV show on France’s Channel M6.

Entitled “Between Poverty and Dictatorship: The Great Step Backwards,” the episode will broadcast on March 10th.

READ: EU gives Tunisia 150m euros to stabilize economy

Hachani said the broadcast’s timing was in bad faith and that it intends to harm the countries’ bilateral relations.

Attal spoke of France’s President Emmanuel Macron’s aspiration to boost Tunisian-French relations, regardless of the supposed attempts to sabotage them.

He stated: “For those who prosper from crises and misunderstandings, this dialogue and this reciprocal influence make them lose territories,” and that the leaders were “here to showcase how our unique relations can conquer all obstacles.”

Since Tunisia’s President Kais Saied’s power-grab in July 2021, relations with France were hampered by criticisms of the legitimacy of his one-man-rule.

READ: Tunisia: Saied compromised independence of central bank

However, upon his appointment on January 9th, 2024, Gabriel Attal pledged to enhance France’s relations with North African countries, including with Tunis.

Attal is both France’s youngest-ever, and first openly gay prime minister. The former budget minister became a household name as government spokesperson during the COVID-19 pandemic, regarded by some as a master of political communication, according to the Guardian.

France faces potential irrelevancy in Africa with the expanding influence of rising global powers such as Russia and China. Anti-French sentiment in its former colonies, culminating in the expulsion of French forces from Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso in recent years.

The National / The Guardian


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