Sunday, July 3, 2011

Tunisian PM grilled over new deputy FM

Tunisian protesters and activists in clash with government forces (file photo)

Source: Press TV

Tunisian activists say Prime Minister Beji Caid Sebsi is seeking normalization of ties with the Israeli regime after he appointed Khamis al-Jihnavi as deputy foreign minister.

The activists slammed the move as illegal, saying the appointment of Jihnavi, the former head of Tunisia's Interest Section in Israel, is a step towards normalization of relations with Tel Aviv, DPA reported.

They said his appointment violated the regulations of Tunisia's High Commission for Political Reforms and Democratic Transition.

The High Commission has recently adopted a “pact of reform” which supports the Palestinian cause and prohibits normalization of relations with Israel.

Jihnavi and Shalom Cohen - the former head of Israel's Interest Section in Tunisia - were both appointed to the positions in 1996, but stopped their activities in 2000, when the second Palestinian Intifada began.

The reform pact will provide the basis for a new constitution in Tunisia following the ouster of former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in a January revolution.

Tunisians are expected to elect an assembly in October to draft a new constitution.

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