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President of Tunisia opposes intervention in Syria

Date of publication: 17/01/2012

Moncef Marzouki, the Tunisian president

In an interview with the Algerian daily, El-Khabar, on 15 January 2012, the Tunisian president Moncef Marzouki has said he is opposed to any military intervention in Syria by a foreign army.  Such an intervention, he said, would be "suicidal" and could cause the whole Middle East to explode. It would mean that "war would extend across the whole region and would open the way to all powers - Turkey, Israel, Iran, Hezbollah".  The Tunisian president was speaking in response to remarks made by the emir of Qatar who said he supported an intervention in Syria by Arab troops to stop demonstrators being killed.  This is the first time that an Arab head of state has taken such a position on Syria, which has been engulfed in turmoil for months.

The Tunisian president said that the situation in Syria was less alarming than in its neighbour, Libya, where Tunisia had supported the recent NATO intervention.  "We accepted that intervention but without conviction," he added.  

Source:  Jeune Afrique, 16 January 2012

Centre for the Study of Interventionism