Tunisia has closed its embassy in the Qatari capital Doha, accusing the Qatar-based satellite channel Al-Jazeera of launching a “hostile campaign” against the country, Tunisian officials confirmed on Tuesday.
The embassy was reportedly closed last week, but no official announcement had been made to Doha.
Tunis decided to suspend its diplomatic relations with the country after Al-Jazeera provided a platform for Mun’sif Al-Marzouqi, a Tunisian human rights activist, on a program aired on October 14.
Al-Marzouqi returned to Tunisia on Saturday after five years in France. He has called for peaceful resistance to the government and is urging civilians to fight for human rights in Tunisia. He leads a banned opposition party called the Congress for the Republic.
Tunisia also recalled its envoys to Qatar, expressing its disapproval with the program which dealt with Tunisia’s campaign against the Islamic veil.
Tunisia decided to end its diplomatic representation in Qatar “despite its appreciation and respect for this brotherly country,” the Tunisian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Al-Jazeera’s programming has strained Tunisian-Qatari ties in the past, as the channel has at times broadcast news reports and programs about the country which Tunis claimed lacked objectivity.
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