Opposition parties, supported by civil societies and non-governmental organizations, held a protest rally on Tuesday in front of the People’s Representative Assembly, the Tunisian Parliament, to call for the resumption of diplomatic relations with Syria suspended five years ago.
Among the slogans chanted during this movement are “the reopening of the Syrian embassy in Tunis,” as well as “the resumption of diplomatic relations with Syria” broken since 2011, witnessed a reporter with Xinhua.
This gathering coincides with a debate, which began the same day, on a petition proposed by four parliamentary blocs on the resumption of diplomatic relations with Damascus.
The petition, which was signed last April, involved four opposition parties, including three liberal parties Tunisia Project, Perspectives of Tunisia and the Free Patriotic Union, and the Popular Front, main alliance of the left within the Tunisian parliament.
“This protest rally constitutes a strong message from a large part of Tunisians wanting to put diplomatic relations with Syria back on track after having been suspended because of a regional mobilization against the regime in place in Damascus,” said Sahbi Ben Fraj, deputy of Tunisia Project Party.
According to Ben Fraj, three years after the last Tunisian elections and five years after the suspension of diplomatic relations between the two countries, “it will be important to reestablish new relations with the Syrian people, but above all to break with the etiquette that links extremism and jihadism in Syria with the Tunisians.”