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Would Tunisia Be the Next Arab State to Normalize Ties With Israel?

TUNIS, TUNISIA - MAY 15: People gather to stage a demonstration in support of Palestinians and to protest against Israeli attacks on Gaza Strip, on May 15, 2021 in Tunis, Tunisia. (Photo by Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Algerian officials are warning Tunisia would be the next state to normalize ties with Israel leaving pro-Iran Algeria encircled in the region. Algerian official and head of a pro-military party Abdelkader Ben Grina said Tunisia would normalize ties with Israel, ringing the alarm bell for a regime that has long used the anti-semitism card to distract its own people from the deteriorating living conditions. Autocratic president Kais Saied sent his foreign minister right after to Algeria in a visit that commentators see as a Tunisian attempt to explain normalization quest to Algerian partners. Edy Kohen had said, in an interview a few months ago with Anouar Malek, that Tunisia was among Arab states that are interested in having normal ties with Tel Aviv.

Tunisia under President Saied has often been described to be an Algerian proxy as it has sided with Algeria’s foreign policy stands, going as far as offering a state reception to the head of separatist Polisario front. This triggered a diplomatic spat with Morocco. Former Tunisian ambassador Ilias Kesri was the latest voice to call for a recalibrating of Tunisian foreign policy in the region by mending ties with Morocco and maintaining a neutral stance. It is not clear, however, how would Tunisia explain its normalization move due to the rhetoric used by Kais Saied, who like his Algerian mentors, has used anti-semitism to stoke nationalist sentiment in his country.

Source: The North Africa Post