Tunisia's president reaffirms Libya neutrality in call with Macron

Tunisia's president reaffirms Libya neutrality in call with Macron
Kais Saied told Emmanuel Macron that Tunisia 'will never be a rear base for any party' in Libya's conflict, as the UN-backed Tripoli government makes gains in the long-running war.
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Kais Saied has been accused by MPs of pursuing a pro-Turkey foreign policy [Getty]
President Kais Saied on Friday reaffirmed Tunisia's neutrality in neighbouring Libya's conflict during a telephone call with his French counterpart, the presidency said.

"Tunisia, which is committed to its sovereignty as well as the sovereignty of Libya, will never be a rear base for any party" to the conflict, Saied told President Emmanuel Macron, his office said. 

Libya's UN-recognised government, heavily backed by Turkey, on Friday announced it had taken the town of Tarhuna from strongman Khalifa Haftar, who is backed by the UAE, Egypt and Russia.

On Thursday, a stormy session of Tunisia's parliament saw the speaker, Rached Ghannouchi, head of the Islamist-inspired Ennahdha party, accused of pursuing a parallel foreign policy that backed Turkey.

Libyan leaders in late May revealed a telephone conversation between Ghannouchi and the head of Libya's Government of National Accord, Fayez al-Sarraj, in which the former congratulated the latter on a recent military success.

Ghannouchi pledged at the end of the parliamentary session to review his positions so to avoid any duality over Tunisia's foreign policy, which is officially a presidential domain. 

The French presidency said Saied and Macron also discussed policy responses to the coronavirus pandemic.

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