Tunisian official slams French presidential candidate’s comments about women’s status

Image of Anouar Gharbi, a senior Tunisian official

Image of Anouar Gharbi, a senior Tunisian official

A senior Tunisian official has strongly criticised French presidential candidate and former Prime Minister Manuel Valls for his remarks about the status of women in Tunisia. Anouar Gharbi warned of the “growing French intervention in Tunisia’s internal affairs” after Valls was reported as saying that women in the North African state “are forced to wear hijab, like in Iran”.

In an exclusive interview with Quds Press, Gharbi criticised Valls’ remarks as “insulting” to a large segment of Tunisian society by comparing the status of women in Tunisia to that in Iran. Such interference, added Gharbi, is not limited to politicians. A French lawyer, he explained, called recently for the release of some union leaders who were tried and convicted by a court in Tunisia. The lawyer is apparently very close to the French authorities. Such behaviour, insisted Gharbi, is not conducive to clearing the air between Tunisia and France.

The former foreign affairs adviser to the president of Tunisia called on his country’s diplomats to build balanced international relations and defend its economic and political interests. It is important, he concluded, to maintain Tunisia’s sovereignty and independent decision-making.

(Source / 13.01.2017)


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