Saudi Arabia pledges to support Tunisia, says Tunisian presidency

Saudi Arabia pledged on Sunday to provide assistance to Tunisia, which is suffering a political, economic and health crisis, the Tunisian presidency said, the latest sign of support for President Kais Saied against his Islamist opponents.

Saudi Minister of State for African Affairs Ahmed Abdul Aziz Kattan met with Saied in Tunisia and then senior officials held talks to discuss cooperation, the presidency said in a statement.

Last month, Saied ousted his prime minister, froze parliament and assumed executive authority in a sudden intervention that his Islamist opponents have called a coup but which he says was necessary to save the country from collapse.

The statement did not give details on the assistance that Saudi Arabia could provide, which has reiterated that it supports Saied’s decisions aimed at protecting the country.

The King of Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abdulaziz, said earlier this month that his country would give Tunisia one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, and Saudi Arabia has also established an airlift to provide medical aid to the country of the north of Africa.

>> Coronavirus pandemic in Tunisia: the vaccination campaign increases with those over 18 years of age

Tunisia is struggling with an unprecedented fiscal deficit, which reached 11.4 percent last year.

It is also on the brink of bankruptcy, needing at least $ 3 billion this year to pay off the external debts and salaries of hundreds of thousands of public sector employees.

Some Gulf states saw Saied’s intervention as undermining the Muslim Brotherhood movement, which they see as their main regional enemy and which is close to the largest party in Tunisia’s now-frozen parliament.

( Jowharwith REUTERS)

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