Kaïs Saïed on France 24: “I don’t like being trampled on”

In an interview with France 24, Tunisian President Kaïs Saïed looks back at his meeting with Emmanuel Macron on Monday at the Élysée Palace and foreign interventions in Libya, saying that “the Libyan problem can only be solved by the Libyans themselves.” from the leader of the Ennahda party in his country, he insisted that there is only “one state, one head of state and only diplomacy” in Tunisia.

Tunisian President Kaïs Saïed expresses his satisfaction that during his meeting on Monday with France’s President Emmanuel Macron, he found a new vision for relations between France and Tunisia. He says he is looking for an agreement so that international financial support really goes to the sectors that need it most.

Asked about France’s colonial past, Kaïs Saïed demands no apology or compensation, although he claims that crimes have been committed. He thus distinguishes the colonial situation in Algeria from that in Tunisia, which then lived under protectorate. “We are looking forward,” he said.

Regarding the reopening of the country’s borders, scheduled for June 27, the president is pleased to believe that the situation can “last longer”, after more than three months of closure to combat the spread of Covid-19. He again calls for a comprehensive strategy against the pandemic.

>> See our interview with Elyes Fakhfakh: “We have managed to control the Covid-19 epidemic in Tunisia”

While French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday condemned the “dangerous game” of Ankara in Libya, Kaïs Saïed also condemns foreign involvement in Libya and believes that only a political solution that comes from the Libyans themselves can end chaos. “The Libyan problem can only be solved by the Libyans themselves,” he said. “Why is the situation in Libya deteriorating day by day? Since the Libyans were not left to choose the solution they wanted.”

Rached Ghannouchi’s “Bright”

He also mentions a “mistake” following the initiative of Rached Ghannouchi, the parliament’s president and leader of the Ennahda Party, who congratulated Libyan Prime Minister Fayez el Sarraj for a military victory. He says that there is only one president and only one foreign policy in Tunisia: “There is one state, one head of state (…) and that there is only one Tunisian diplomacy, led by the head of state”.

According to him, the Ennahda Party is trying to influence certain decisions. “I don’t like being kicked,” he warns.

>> See our exclusive documentary, awarded at the One World Media Awards: “Libya: Hell Trap”

Finally, in returning to the recent conflicts in Tataouine, in the southern country, the head of state believes that they are the result of the authorities’ lack of listening and added that the security response “was not the solution”.