Tunisia made the decision two days after the European Parliament held a debate on a migration pact with Tunis.
The European Parliament has “condemned” Tunisia’s decision to bar a delegation sent by its foreign affairs committee from entering the North African country.
The delegation, led by Member of European Parliament Michael Gahler, was expected to arrive in Tunisia on Thursday on a two-day visit following a previous trip in April 2022.
According to the European Parliament, Thursday’s visit was planned to “get a better insight into the current political situation in the country”. In a statement, the committee demanded a “detailed explanation” for the refusal to allow the delegation entry.
A Tunisian foreign ministry letter that communicated the decision was shared on social media but did not provide further details.
Tunisian President Kais Saied has taken an increasingly authoritarian turn in recent years. In July 2021 he sacked his government and suspended parliament. Since then he has rewritten the constitution to give the presidency far more power, cracked down on dissidents, and imprisoned opposition leaders.
Saied’s policies and behaviour have drawn international condemnation and raised concerns that he is returning Tunisia to the type of autocratic rule that was overthrown in a revolution more than a decade ago.
The move to bar the delegation from entering Tunisia comes after a heated debate in the European Parliament on Tuesday, during which politicians criticised the European Union’s controversial June migration pact with Tunisia, under which the EU promised Tunisia one billion euros (around $1.1bn) in support with about 10 percent of that amount being allocated to secure the borders of the North African country.
Source : Aljazeera