Algeria summons Tunisian ambassador over 'communist state' remark

Algeria summons Tunisian ambassador over 'communist state' remark
Analysts downplay talk of a political rift between the North African neighbours after Tunisia's envoy to Algiers is summoned to clarify a minister's remarks.
1 min read
09 May, 2017
Tunisia and Algeria normally share good relations, with close cooperation in security [AFP]

Algeria summoned Tunisia's ambassador to Algiers on Sunday after a Tunisian minister described Algeria as a "communist state" at a conference in Rome.

"Tunisia's ambassador has been received today at the ministry of foreign affairs where he has been asked to provide clarifications about remarks made by a Tunisian minister," the ministry said in a statement published by the state's official APS news agency.

The remark, which was made by Tunisia's minister for local affairs, was condemned by the country's Ennahda Party. 

Unlike Morocco, which also borders Algeria, Tunisia shares strong economic and security ties with Algeria. The two nations have worked closely against Islamist militants in the region.

Algeria, which has been governed under the presidency of Abdelaziz Bouteflika since 1999, shifted away from one-party socialism since gaining independence from France in 1962. Much of the country's economy, however, remains under state control.

Commentators have downplayed talk of a diplomatic crisis between Tunis and Algeirs.