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Archive for Tunisia

Newsline: Tunisia reopens consulate in Libyan capital Tripoli

Tunisia has reopened its consulate in the Libyan capital, the Libya foreign ministry said, the latest mission to return to Tripoli. Most embassies left Tripoli in 2014 when heavy fighting broke out between rival factions and few came back when a U.N.-backed administration took office in 2016. The Tunisian consulate resumed work after talks between the two countries, the Libyan foreign ministry said. The Tunisian foreign ministry declined to comment, but a diplomatic source confirmed the move. Tunisia closed its mission after ten staffers were kidnapped in 2015.



Newsline: Police suspect arson after fire at Stockholm embassy building injures 14

Police in Stockholm have arrested a man on suspicion of arson after a fire at an embassy building injured 14 people. The alarm was raised about the fire at the Narvavägen building housing the embassies of Portugal, Tunisia, Argentina and Belgium as well as apartments and a restaurant at around lunchtime on Wednesday afternoon. “The operation is still ongoing. Around 14 people have been affected by the fire, with no serious injuries but smoke and minor injuries,” Stockholm police press spokesperson Kjell Lindgren told The Local. “The latest information from the fire fighters is that there’s no one left in the building, but they’re still working to extinguish the fire in the apartment section.” Lindgren said police were looking to speak to a person who they “think could have something to do with” the incident, with a description released to the public in an effort to locate him. Asked if it’s thought the fire was started deliberately, Lindgren affirmed “we think it was lit by someone, which is why we’ve started an investigation into arson”. An arrest was made in central Stockholm just after 2pm on Wednesday, with a man arrested suspected of arson on reasonable grounds (the lower degree of suspicion according to Swedish law).


Newsline: Tunisia summons British ambassador over airline electronics rules

Tunisia’s government has summoned the British ambassador to protest against a decision to restrict carry-on electronic goods on flights from Tunisia, the Foreign Ministry said. Britain announced that from Saturday it would ban passengers from carrying some phones, laptops and tablets on flights from six countries in the Middle East including Tunisia. Tunisia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the British decision was “unjustified” and did not reflect an improved security situation in Tunisia. “Tunisia is surprised by this decision, which was taken without consultation with the Tunisian authorities or informing them in advance,” the statement said. Tunisia has been working to contain a threat from Islamist militants after three major attacks claimed by Islamic State in 2015, including two targeting foreign tourists. The United States imposed similar restrictions on planes coming from 10 airports in Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and North Africa in response to unspecified security threats. The U.S. restrictions did not include Tunisia.


Newsline: France’s embassy employee in Tunisia under fire for anti-Semitic comments

An employee of France’s embassy in Tunisia is under fire over anti-Semitic comments posted under his name on Facebook, including one about Adolf Hitler’s failure to “finish the job”, JTA reported. The employee, Selim Dakhlaoui, said however that hackers took over his account and posted the comments. Dakhlaoui, who works as a consulting agent for the embassy, was responding to an outcry following the publication on a French-language blog of copies of anti-Israel messages made under his name, as well as the sentence about Hitler, which has been decried as anti-Semitic. “Watch out, my account has been hijacked,” Dakhlaoui wrote. On Friday, the embassy called the statements attributed to Dakhlaoui “unacceptable,” adding he was summoned to talks with his superiors. The Foreign Ministry will decide how to handle the affair once it determines whether Dakhlaoui wrote the offensive remarks, the embassy’s statement said. In October, a comment that read, “Soon it will be the end of Israel” appeared under Dakhlaoui’s name, followed by an icon of a missile. A week later, the same account displayed the message: “Go to hell, Israel.” Earlier this year, it featured a comment reading “Hitler didn’t finish the job” in a discussion about Israel’s alleged involvement in Islamist terrorism, according to the JTA report. Earlier this week, according to the report, CRIF, the umbrella group of French Jewish communities, posted about Dakhlaoui on its Facebook page and urged the embassy to react.


Newsline: Tunisia reopening Tripoli embassy after unity government arrives

Tunisia said that it was reopening its embassy and consulate in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, following the arrival there of the U.N.-backed unity government. The diplomatic missions would be reopened “in the framework of backing the Libyan political process and support for consensus between Libyans”, Tunisia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Tunisia closed its consular operations in Tripoli after gunmen stormed its consulate last June and kidnapped 10 staff, who were later freed. The leaders of Libya’s unity government arrived in Tripoli from Tunisia last week, and have been operating from a naval base in the capital as they seek to establish their authority over two previously existing rival governments.


Newsline: US embassy warns citizens over possible Tunisia mall attack

The United States embassy in Tunisia has warned its citizens to avoid a major shopping mall in the capital Tunis on Sunday because of a reported threat of a potential militant attack there. Tunisia is under a state of emergency following a suicide bomb attack on a presidential guard bus in Tunis last month. That followed two major militant gun attacks on a Tunis museum and a beach hotel targeting foreign tourists. A statement late advised U.S. citizens to stay away from the Tunisia Mall in Berges du Lac area in the capital on Sunday because a “report of unknown credibility indicates the possibility of a terrorist attack.”


Newsline: Bangladesh embassy stops operation in Libya, relocates to Tunisia

Bangladesh embassy has suspended operations in war-torn Libya and advised Bangladeshis including migrant workers to avoid traveling there. In a press statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the government is closely monitoring the overall situation in Libya. “Bangladesh nationals including migrant workers are strongly advised to avoid going to Libya in view of the ongoing fighting and deteriorating security situation throughout the country,” it said. It further added, “due to ongoing violence, recently the Bangladesh Embassy has suspended its operations in Libya and relocated its staff to Tunisia.”