Syrian foreign minister visits Tunisia to resume ties

A handout picture provided by the Tunisian Foreign Ministry shows Tunisian Foreign Minister Nabil Ammar (right) receiving his Syrian counterpart Faisal Mekdad at Tunis–Carthage International Airport on April 17, 2023. (PHOTO / AFP)

TUNIS – Tunisian Foreign Minister Nabil Ammar on Monday hosted his Syrian counterpart Faisal Mekdad who started a three-day official visit to Tunisia aimed at resuming diplomatic relations between the two countries.

According to a previous statement by the Tunisian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, "Mekdad's visit came within the framework of keenness to restore bilateral relations between Syria and Tunisia."

This development follows the decision made on April 12 by the two countries to reopen their respective embassies and resume diplomatic ties, after Tunisia severed its diplomatic relations with Syria in February 2012 after the Syrian civil war broke out.

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Separately, Tunisia's Islamist party Ennahdha said on Monday evening that Tunisian security arrested its leader Rached Ghannouchi.

"Security units raided the house of the Ennahdha leader and transferred him to an unknown destination," according to a statement on Ghannouchi's official Facebook page.

Ghannouchi's lawyer Mokhtar Jamai said that he did not know the reason for his client's arrest, the private radio station Mosaique FM reported.

Ennahdha was the largest party in the previous parliament that was dissolved by Tunisian President Kais Saied in July 2021.

READ MORE: Tunisia's Saied: Hatred of parliament to blame for low turnout

Ghannouchi, 81, is facing several charges, including financial corruption, money laundering, terrorism, and assassination