According to Tunisian media, Tunisian President Kais Saied met with Assad’s Foreign Minister, Faisal al-Mekdad, on the sidelines of the pair’s visit to Algeria, which coincided with the 60th anniversary of Algerian independence. At the meeting, Saied sent a message to the terrorist Bashar al-Assad.
In a statement, Assad’s Foreign Ministry said that Saied asked Mekdad to convey his greetings to President Bashar al-Assad. The Tunisian website Facts Online reported that, in his speech to Mekdad, Saied praised “Syria’s achievements – as well as the Tunisian people’s victories against the forces of darkness and backwardness – which complement each other in achieving the common goals of the Syrian and Tunisian people.”
In August, Mekdad met with Othman al-Jarandi, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Immigration and Tunisians Abroad. This was the first meeting between the two countries’ foreign ministers since 2012 when former Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki announced that Tunis had severed relations with Damascus following the Syrian ambassador being expelled from Tunisia.
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Last year, the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) called on Saied to restore diplomatic relations with Damascus, after the break that began in 2012. The UGTT urged the need to “develop a national strategy for Tunisia’s foreign relations that departs from rigid alignment, deals with specific issues, promotes the national interest, and restores Tunisia’s dedication to its true Arab brethren – especially by restoring relations with sister country Syria.”
In a television interview with Saied conducted in September 2019 – just before his triumph in the presidential election – Saied claimed that “the events in Syria started as a revolution and then turned into a conspiracy, aimed not at enabling the Syrian people to obtain the freedom that they asked for; instead, (it was) intended to overthrow the Syrian state.”
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.