Tunisian PM accuses ‘certain parties’ of trying to harm French relations

Ahmed Hachani is on a two-day official visit to Paris

Tunisian Prime Minister Ahmed Hachani speaks during a press conference with French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal at the Hotel de Matignon in Paris. Reuters
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Tunisian Prime Minister Ahmed Hachani accused certain parties, which he would not identify, of seeking to harm diplomatic relations between Tunisia and France.

“These are parties that do not like the reinforcement of our relations with France and are trying to stem the machine [of co-operation],” Mr Hachani said alongside French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal, in Paris on Thursday.

Mr Hachani said he is looking forward to putting the past behind and hopes that his visit would lead to a new phase in Tunisia’s relations with France.

He said these relations witnessed some stagnation because of misunderstandings that these "mischievous" parties sought to increased.

“This occasion is unique so that we could lift all of the difficulties that we could have had in the past due to some misunderstandings,” Mr Hachani said.

His visit coincides with a special Tunisia episode by TV investigative show Enquetes Exclusives on French Channel M6.

Entitled Between Poverty and Dictatorship, the Great Step Backwards, the episode will be broadcast on Sunday.

Mr Hachani said the broadcast's timing was not in good faith and intends to insult and harm the countries’ bilateral relations.

Mr Attal spoke of President Emmanuel Macron's aspiration to boost Tunisian-French relations, regardless of all attempts to sabotage it.

“For those who prosper from crises and misunderstandings, this dialogue and this reciprocal influence make them lose territories,” he said.

“We are here to showcase how our unique relations can conquer all obstacles."

After Tunisian President Kais Saied's consolidation of power in July 2021, relations between the two countries slowed because of criticism about the legitimacy of his one-man rule.

But after his appointment as French Prime Minister in January, Mr Attal pledged to enhance France's relations with North African countries including Tunisia.

France is facing challenges with its status in the African continent with the expanding influence of global powers including Russia and China.

Updated: March 01, 2024, 4:19 AM