Tunisia denies resuming diplomatic relations with Assad regime

Tunisia denies resuming diplomatic relations with Assad regime
Tunisia has denied it has upgraded diplomatic relations with Syria, despite having appointed a consul to Syria that will assume his position once security improves.
2 min read
27 July, 2015
Baccouche said diplomatic ties with Syria have not been normalised [Anadolu]

The Tunisian foreign minister has denied reports his country is upgrading diplomatic relations with the Syrian regime.

Taieb Baccouche said a Tunisian consul to Syria was officially appointed months ago, but will not assume his post until security improves.

Currently, low-level Tunisian consulate workers are in Syria providing consular services.

Baccouche said the recent publication of a diplomatic update mentioning the consul's appointment, has been misunderstood as a signal that diplomatic ties with Syria had been normalised.

Sources in the Tunisian Ministry of Foreign Affairs told AFP earlier Tunisia has appointed a consul general in Syria.

However, a senior source in the ministry told al-Araby al-Jadeed the appointee is a consul, not a consul general. They said the move was meant to upgrade consular services provided to Tunisians in Syria.

The issue of Tunisian-Syrian relations has caused considerable controversy for months because of uncertainty and ambiguity surrounding the issue.

Baccouche previously said he was planning to restore diplomatic ties with Syria and would appoint a fully fledged ambassador in Damascus. However, the move was opposed by the Tunisian president, who said Tunisia could not breach "Arab consensus" on the Syrian regime.

Tunisians have called for a consular office to be opened in Damascus after the closure of the Tunisian diplomatic mission there.

This article is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.