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Tunisia MPs urge govt. to reject Saudi-backed Arab League statement

A group of Tunisian lawmakers have condemned a recent Arab League statement against Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Iran, calling on the Tunis government to withdraw its support for the Saudi-backed document.

Arab League member states had gathered in Cairo last Sunday at Saudi Arabia’s request to discuss “confronting” Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement.

In a final statement, the gathering accused Tehran of “interfering” in Arab countries and disrupting security in the region, and branded the Lebanese resistance movement as “a terrorist” organization.

As many as 41 Tunisian legislators co-signed a statement to counter that of the Arab League, condemning it and pleading with the Tunisian Foreign Ministry to withdraw its support for it.

Part of the parliamentarians’ statement read, “We, the signatories, decisively condemn what has been featured in the statement by the Arab League foreign ministers’ meeting, including the accusations againsy Hezbollah and whatever effort at igniting flames of a new war against the people of this nation (Lebanon).”

Mubarakah al-Brahim, an MP with the country’s Popular Front political coalition, denounced the content of the Arab League statement as “a stain on the forehead of the revolutionary Tunis, and betrayal of the blood of the revolution’s martyrs.”

In 2011, the country’s people rose up in revolution, ousting dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. The revolt was first in a string of similar uprisings across the Arab world that became known as the Arab Spring.

Iran has called the Arab League statement “worthless,” emphasizing that it was “full of lies and distortions.”

Tehran has urged Saudi Arabia to stop its policy of exerting pressure on Lebanon, Qatar, and other Middle Eastern nations.

The Islamic Republic has invariably rejected Saudi Arabia’s accusation of regional interference, and invited it to negotiation over standing differences.

The kingdom has also been trying to weaken Hezbollah for more than a decade.

Riyadh opposes the group’s considerable military and political power in Lebanon, despite the group’s vital contribution to its homeland’s security in the face of repeated Israeli wars.

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