Tunisia president, foreign ministry lash out at Turkish, international criticism
Tunisian President Kais Saeid lashed out on Tuesday at foreign criticism of his country's affairs, after a number of countries - in particular Turkey - denounced his recent dissolution of parliament.
After meeting with Foreign Minister Othman Jerandi, Saied stressed the need to strengthen Tunisia’s relations with "brotherly and friendly nations in the framework of mutual respect and common interest".
However, he said that he refused any interference in his country’s internal affairs "in any form", according to a Facebook post on the Tunisian presidency page.
For its part, the Tunisian foreign ministry said recent remarks made by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan were "unacceptable" and contradicted the principles on which both countries ties are built on.
"Tunisia is a free, independent state, where the people are sovereign and are the only ones authorised to choose the path to real freedom that preserves their security, protects their dignity and supports their rights," the ministry said.
Erdogan on Tuesday slammed a move by Saied to dissolve Tunisia's parliament last week as a "smearing of democracy" and a blow to the will of the Tunisian people.
Turkey’s Parliament Speaker Mustafa Sentop also described the move as "a flagrant violation of the law and democratic principles, which is extremely worrying."
France on Tuesday expressed its "concern over the recent developments in Tunisia" and its "adherence to respect for the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary."
Tunisia's political crisis escalated last week when more than half the members of parliament held an online session to revoke President Saied's decrees.
Saied suspended parliament last July in a move his opponents call a coup, and dissolved it last week. He also said he would not hold early elections.