Tunisia calls Erdogan comments on president’s decree unacceptable interference

TUNISIA’S foreign ministry said that comments by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Tunisia’s leader dissolving parliament was “an unacceptable interference” in internal affairs.

On Monday, Erdogan criticised President Kais Saied’s decree dissolving parliament last week as a “smearing of democracy” and a blow to the will of the Tunisian people.

“Tunisia expresses its astonishment at the Turkish President’s statement … these comments are unacceptable,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

“Tunisia affirms its keenness on close relations with friendly countries but adheres to the independence of its decision and rejects interference in its sovereignty,” it said.

The Tunisian foreign minister, Othman Jerandi, said on Twitter on Wednesday that he also talked to his Turkish counterpart by telephone and summoned the Turkish ambassador to Tunisia to express his country’s rejection of president Erdogan comments.

Tunisia’s political crisis intensified last week when more than half the members of parliament held an online session to revoke Saied’s decrees. Saied responded by dissolving parliament and imposing one-man rule.

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Anti-terrorism police summoned the main opposition figure, Rached Ghannouchi, who is also Parliament Speaker, and other lawmakers for questioning last week.

Saied’s move was criticised at home and abroad. The U.S. State Department expressed its deep concern while the opposition called for a protest next Sunday in Tunis.

Ghannouchi, who is the head of Islamist Ennahda party, rejected Saied’s decision to dissolve parliament and said other virtual sessions would be convened.

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