Ennahda Movement candidate: ‘restoring relations with Syria is an Arab decision’

Abdelfattah Mourou, a candidate in Tunisian Ennahda Movement for the upcoming presidential elections, said that the restoration of relations with Syria should be done within the framework of the Arab League.

This came in Mourou’s statements on Monday in response to questions of a group of young people he received at his home in the city of La Marsa in the northern suburb of the capital and attended by Anadolu’s reporter.

“Tunisia is a member state of an Arab organisation (The Arab League), and we have common policies with the Arab countries that we cannot deviate from,” said Mourou in response to a question about the restoration of relations with Syria.

He continued: “We want to preserve the entity of Arab countries through the League.”

He added: “Any change that takes place (regarding the position towards Syria) should be reached with the consent of this organisation to open up to a new reality.”

He explained that “the leadership of matters in Syria now is not in our hands, and we have nothing to do with it,” apparently referring to the complicated situation in Syria and the intersection of international interests in it.

Read: Syria: Regime airstrikes kill 6 civilians in Idlib

Mourou described the Syrian crisis as “complicated”, saying: “I have drawn the attention to its complexity and said since its beginnings: ‘do not intervene in the Syrian matter as it will be forgotten and become an international matter. Syria’s interests, people and government will also be forgotten’.”

Regarding Tunisian fighters in Syria, Mourou said: “Terrorists are an international issue that is being pursued by the whole world, including us. Our national security should protect Tunisia from those who would return and get from them enough information.”

“There is coordination between the Tunisian national security and the Interpol regarding all these fighters,” Mourou stressed.

In November 2011, the Arab League decided to freeze the Syrian seat, against the background of Bashar Al-Assad’s regime resorting to the military option, to defeat the popular revolution opposing its rule.

On 4 February 2012, former Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki, announced in a statement issued by the President the expulsion of the Syrian ambassador in Tunisia, and the withdrawal of any recognition of the ruling regime in Damascus, calling on Al-Assad to step down from power.

The issue of Syria’s return to the Arab League has not been on the agenda of the recent Arab summit held in Tunisia at the end of March, although some talked about this possibility. Tunisia will hold early presidential elections on 15 September. The elections date was brought forward following the death of late President Beji Caid Essebsi, 92, on 25 July.