Tunisian authorities banned Emirates Airlines from landing in Tunis in retaliation against a decision by UAE authorities denying all female Tunisian nationals entry into the country under a ‘temporary’ travel restriction on Friday, December 22.
The Tunisian transport ministry said it has ordered the suspension of Emirates flights to Tunis “until the airline is able to find the appropriate solution to operate its flights in accordance with international law and agreements”.
Immediately after the travel ban affecting Tunisian women, Tunisia’s foreign ministry summoned the UAE Ambassador to seek clarifications amid growing outcry and denunciation of a discriminatory decision.
Tunisian rights groups issued a statement on Saturday condemning the UAE measures as “discriminatory and racist”.
Diplomatic ties between Tunisia and the UAE were damaged following the 2011 revolution that was ensued with the rise of the Ennahda party, which draws its referential from political islam. The close ties between Tunisia and Qatar as well as the existence of Muslim brotherhood in Tunisia are all issues that put Tunis and Abu Dhabi at loggerheads, especially at times when the UAE gears its foreign policy to countering political Islam at home and abroad.