Jeddah (UNA-OIC) – Tunisian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Hisham Al-Forati, who also serves as the Permanent Representative of Tunisia to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), valued the support of the brotherly and friendly countries to Tunisia, at this critical and delicate stage in its history, foremost of which is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
In this regard, Al-Forati referred to the phone call between Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Tunisian President Kais Saied on August 20, during which the Saudi monarch affirmed that the Kingdom was following with great interest the developments in Tunisia.
He also recalled that King Salman stressed, during the telephone conversation, Saudi Arabia’s keenness on the security and stability of Tunisia, as well as the Kingdom’s standing by Tunisia in light of the difficult health conditions it is going through, in order to overcome them.
The ambassador further appreciated the directive of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) to urgently support Tunisia with medical oxygen and its supplies to contribute to meeting the needs of the Tunisian health sector, in order to help overcome the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Al-Forati underscored that the recent decisions of President Saied came to correct the course after the country’s political tensions, which prevented the normal functioning of the state and its institutions, especially the parliament. He noted the Saudi Arabia’s positions in support of Tunisia at this delicate juncture in its history.
The Tunisian ambassador made these remarks today during a briefing on the latest developments in his country, while visiting the headquarters of the Union of OIC News Agencies (UNA) in Jeddah.
Al-Forati explained that the parliament was distracted from the real interests and demands of the Tunisian people, and opted to engage in political rivalries, which led to a deviation in the country’s democratic path, deepening the social and economic crisis, in addition to the rampant corruption that hit many sectors. He stated that all these matters combined generated widespread popular resentment, as large numbers of citizens took to the streets on July 25, demanding the dissolution of the parliament.
“In the light of this deteriorating situation of the country, and the extent of its danger to social peace, and given that the President of the Republic in the Tunisian Constitution is the symbol of the Tunisian State and the guarantor of its independence and continuity, President Kais Saied decided on July 25 to freeze the work of the Assembly of the People’s Representatives for a period of 30 days, terminate the duties of the prime minister, lift the immunity of the MPs, and assume executive authority,” said Al-Forati.
He added that the decisions and measures taken by the President came “with full respect for the 2014 Constitution, particularly Article 80, which stipulates that “The President of the Republic, in the event of an imminent danger threatening the homeland’s integrity or the country’s security and its independence, in a way that results in the impossibility of carrying on with the normal functioning of state institutions, may take the measures necessitated by that exceptional situation.”
He stressed that the purpose of these measures is to impose the law on everyone and to ensure the independence and efficacy of the judiciary, especially at this stage of correcting the political track, so that the Tunisian democratic experience remains the beacon of real success in establishing the rule of law, institutions, human rights and freedoms.
The ambassador called for not paying any heed in lies that say the situation in Tunisia now is a step backwards. He indicated that the Tunisian President reaffirmed that “the democratic process in Tunisia is continuous and there is no room for infringement of the rights and freedoms, foremost of which is freedom of expression and the press that are constitutionally guaranteed”.
He added that there is “neither room for retaliatory arrests, nor for the abuse of businessmen or the confiscation of their money, but rather the state relies on their national sense in this delicate circumstance in Tunisia’s history.”
Al-Forati reiterated that Tunisian President Kais Saied is a constitutional law professor, who invokes the Constitution in all his decisions. He confirmed that the measures taken by the President are only temporary measures that fall within the framework of the temporary organization of powers in accordance with the Constitution until the end of the danger facing the Tunisian State and its institutions.
It is noteworthy that Ambassador Al-Forati, during his visit to the UNA headquarters, listened to an explanation of the Union’s vision for the coming years. The vision revolves around the role of the Union as a major media platform for member states, and the advancement of the media industry, based on Islamic and media values that encourage transparency, credibility and tolerance.
At the end of the visit, the Tunisian diplomat valued the Union’s role in strengthening international media relations among OIC member states, and enhancing professional links between media workers. He also emphasized his country’s keenness to provide the Union with the necessary support in order to assume its role in the media and cultural fields.