Kais Saied meets with US congressional delegation and top diplomat in capital Tunis
Recent critical statements by US officials on the situation in Tunisia are in no way acceptable, the nation’s president said on Sunday while welcoming a US delegation to his official residence.
Kais Saied made the remarks while receiving a US congressional delegation at the Carthage Palace in the capital Tunis in the presence of the US charge d’affaires in Tunisia – the top US diplomat in the North African country – a presidential statement said.
Citing two centuries of Tunisian-US ties, Saied said recent declarations by US officials are not acceptable as Tunisia is an independent and sovereign state, and that the Tunisian people expressed their will in a July 25 referendum approving a new Constitution.
Four days after the vote, Tunisia’s Foreign Ministry said it summoned the US charge d’affaires to voice rejection of US statements decrying the referendum.
On Wednesday, Tunisian President Kais Saied said the country’s new Constitution has entered into force.
The referendum saw low turnout of 30.5% according to the country’s electoral commission.
Tunisia has been in the throes of a deep political crisis that aggravated the country’s economic conditions since last July, when Saied ousted the government, suspended parliament and assumed executive authority. He later dissolved the assembly after lawmakers held a session to challenge his measures.
While Saied insists that his measures were meant to “save” the country, critics have accused him of orchestrating a coup.