By Houda Mzioudet,
Tunis, 29 November, 2015:
Tunisian Foreign Minister Taieb Baccouche has said that Libyans will not have to have visas to travel . . .[restrict]to his country. He was speaking in the Tunisian national assembly today during a session on the 2016 budget.
On Friday, a Tunisian deputy minister had said that following Tuesday’s suicide bombing in the capital the country was looking at the idea of introducing visas.
The suggestion had already been widely rejected by Tunisian officials on the grounds that it would not protect Tunisia and that all it would achieve would be massive damage to the economy.
There are between 800,000 and 1.5 million Libyans now living in Tunisia and money they spend plus that repatriated by the tens of thousands of Tunisians working in Libyam who could be subject to reprisals if visas were imposed, is worth several billion dinars a year.
Baccouche himself pointed out to the parliamentarians that there were hundreds of thousands of Libyans in Tunisia at the moment who could not simply be removed.
Libyans regularly point out, when accused of exporting terrorism to Tunisia, that the largest single group of fighters with the Islamic State organisation in Libya, as in Syria, are Tunsians. [/restrict]