Former foreign minister says Tunisia’s enemy is occupation, colonisation and racial discrimination policy but not Israel.

Tunisian former foreign minister Ahmed Wanis said Israel is not an enemy but its policies.
Tunisian former foreign minister Ahmed Wanis said Israel is not an enemy but its policies. (Mosaique FM)

Tunisia does not consider Israel as its enemy, Tunisian former Foreign minister Ahmed Wanis has said.

Wanis said: "Our enemy is occupation, colonisation and racial discrimination policy."

Tunisia was the first Arab country to consider that the safest policy is negotiation with Israel based on the United Nations partition resolution, Wanis said during an interview on Tunisian radio station Mosaique FM on Monday.

"Tunisia has always been against colonialism and discrimination, so if Israel leaves Palestinian lands and stops discrimination, it will not be our enemy."

He urged Tunisian diplomats to explain their position toward normalising relations with Israel.

The remarks by the former diplomat come at a time where Tunisians are busy with the consequences of the political crisis after President Kais Saied dismissed Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi. Kais suspended the activities of the Assembly of the Representatives of the People by invoking emergency powers from Article 80 of the Tunisian Constitution.

Such comments by Wanis opened the door for a debate among Tunisians who fear the follow of other Arab countries such as UAE, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco that normalised relations with Israel before resolving the Arab-Israel conflict and the establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.

READ MORE: Arab majorities overwhelmingly oppose any normalisation with Israel

'Uninterested in normalisation'

Tunisia announced late in 2020 that it had no intentions of normalising ties with Israel.

Tunisia’s Foreign Ministry rejected a New York Times report that said the country was planning to normalise ties with Israel, following in the footsteps of the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco.

The ministry stated that it respected the sovereignty of countries and its position on the Palestinian cause followed the will of the Tunisian people.

Tunisian parliamentarians launched a campaign last year to criminalise normalisation with Israel.

READ MORE: Tunisia: No intentions of normalising ties with Israel

Source: TRT World