Tunisian president rules out any chance of diplomatic relations with Israel

Gianluca Pacchiani is the Arab affairs reporter for The Times of Israel

Tunisian President Kais Saied arrives for the closing session of the New Global Financial Pact Summit, Friday, June 23, 2023 in Paris.  (AP Photo/Lewis Joly, Pool)
Tunisian President Kais Saied arrives for the closing session of the New Global Financial Pact Summit, Friday, June 23, 2023 in Paris. (AP Photo/Lewis Joly, Pool)

Tunisian President Kais Saied says that the word “normalization” does not exist for him when it comes to Israel.

The comment was made at a meeting for foreign ambassadors in the capital Tunis yesterday, according to the Tunisian news website Nessma.

Saied calls on the newly appointed ambassadors from four countries — Serbia, Iran, Iraq and Turkey — to never forget the Palestinian cause, the “central issue for all nations.”

Saied stresses the importance of advocating for Jerusalem to be the capital of an independent Palestinian state, for a right of return for Palestinian refugees, and for the Palestinian people to regain their rights over “all of Palestine.”

The comments come two days after Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen announced a meeting with his Libyan counterpart Najla Mangoush in Rome last week, causing an uproar in the North African country and leading to the dismissal of Mangoush from her post.

Following the revelation, Libyan Prime Minister Dbeibeh visited the Palestinian embassy in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, on Monday to affirm his country’s continued support of the Palestinian cause.

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