Tunisia’s Islamist MPs reject draft motion on foreign intervention in Libya

Ennhadha and al-Karama coalition reject list of countries mentioned in draft motion because it contains Turkey and Qatar.

LONDON – Tunisia’s parliament rejected Wednesday a draft motion tabled by the Free Destourian Party (PDL) on the country’s rejection of any intervention in Libya.

The draft motion related to “the announcement of parliament’s refusal of any foreign intervention in Libya, and the rejection of the establishment of a logistical base on the national territory, with a view to favouring such intervention.”

It was disapproved with 94 favourable votes, 68 oppositions and 7 abstentions during a plenary session that had witnessed a heated debate. It needed an absolute majority of 109 votes to pass.

PDL leader Abir Moussi, who initiated the initiative, asked for the adjournment of the proceedings after the general debate to examine the proposed amendments tabled by deputies before voting.

Moussi said that the motion was clear and rejected any intervention in war-torn Libya, and that it was formulated on the basis of the refusal of Tunisian parliament of any military intervention in the neighbouring country that is likely to undermine its territorial unity and sovereignty and destabilize peace in the region.

The motion refuses to allow the parties planning a military intervention in Libya, to position themselves on Tunisian territory, and to set up a logistics base under cover of economic, social, and financial conventions and treaties, with a view to facilitate the implementation of their expansionist policy.

But parties, which rejected the motion, justified their decision with the fact that it referred in its first version to two countries only, namely Turkey and Qatar.

They called for the inclusion of the names of all countries involved in the Libyan conflict.

Ennhdha deputy Imed Khemiri said that “his bloc rejects this list” and justified his position that the party that issued the list did not represent Tunisian diplomacy.

“The inclusion of some countries and not others in the text of the list is a violation of thousands of Tunisians and a violation of national security. The list affects Tunisia's relations with some countries,” said Khemiri.

But outspoken Moussi said that Turkey and Qatar were cited as examples in the preamble for reasons that had already been mentioned.

Deputy Mongi Rahoui accused the Islamist party of Ennahdha and its leader Rached Ghannouchi of dealing with terrorist parties in Libya.

“Turkey is still in the Ottoman dream to restore the Ottoman caliphate and now with the Muslim Brotherhood figures that Erdogan leads and has the arms of the militias, including Abdelhakim Belhadj whom Ghannouchi said he protects Tunisia’s back and we saw him with Ennahdha leaders while he is involved in terrorism,” said Rahoui during the plenary session.

The MP stressed that “Ennahdha today supports Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj’s Government of National Accord which is classified as being involved in terrorism.”

“there is an alignment (in Tunisia) about Libya from here and elsewhere on the basis of who represents and who wants to stand out more than others as an agent (at the behest of one of the Libyan parties),” said Rahoui.

Moussi said that she would address all attempts of turning the state institutions into Brotherhood ones, accusing Ennahda and al-Karama coalition of bringing terrorism and extremism to Tunisia.

Deputies were unanimous in rejecting regional and international interference in Libya and on the need to preserve its sovereignty and territorial unity.