Tunisian political scientist Riadh Sidaoui returned, in a statement to leconomistemaghrebin.com, on the results of 2017 and the prospects for 2018 for Tunisia.
The director of the Arab Center for Research and Political Analysis (CARAPS) in Geneva preferred to start by commenting on the visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to Tunis. He considered that the economic relations between Tunisia and Turkey are not complementary. These are very competitive relationships, he says. This dates back to the time of Ben Ali, he says.
According to him, Turkish tourism, along with other competing countries, has greatly harmed Tunisian tourism with the practice of selling off prices in tourist services. Moreover, with Turkey, in terms of trade, it is not a win-win relationship. Apart from the Enfidha airport, whose performance is not yet proven, Turkey has no major investments in Tunisia, he said.
Riadh Sidaoui asserted that Erdoğan, during his last visit, did not respect diplomatic protocols: his attack on Syrian President Bashar Al Assad, during the press conference held at the Carthage Palace, calling him a terrorist , Constitutes a flagrant violation of the protocol in use.
Elsewhere, Riadh Sidaoui has ruled out the possibility that the Turkish president will cooperate with Tunisia in sending Tunisian terrorists to conflict zones, which has opened the borders to them to carry out attacks in Syria. According to our interlocutor, the Turkish intelligence services facilitated the passage into Syria of several terrorists coming from several countries and not only from Tunisia.
Riadh Sidaoui presents mixed results for 2017 and is optimistic for 2018
Questioned on the results of the year 2017, Riadh Sidaoui indicated that during the year 2017, Tunisian diplomacy regained its balance and neutrality, unlike the period of the Troika when the Tunisian state was registered in the axis of Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Regarding terrorism, our interlocutor welcomed the fact that the second tourist season is passing without a terrorist act, which has helped revive the tourism sector. “Law enforcement agencies have been able to achieve several feats this year and have gained ground against the terrorists. Moreover, the terrorist attack perpetrated with knives against Commander Riadh Barrouta, in front of the Assembly of People’s Representatives (ARP), does indeed show that terrorists are losing ground in Tunisia, ”he said. .
In terms of the political landscape and freedoms, our interlocutor welcomed the fact that freedom of expression and democracy are a real achievement in Tunisia. To those who consider that the Ben Ali era was better, he replies: “For man, what is material and economic is not the most important, on the other hand Freedom is the essence of his existence, it is is the most precious thing he must seek to safeguard. Tunisia is now a model to follow in the Arab world, ”he says.
However, he regretted, at the same time, that during 2017, successive governments failed to assume their role of welfare state for better protection of citizens in Tunisia. “For the government of National Union, I would have liked it to include other political sensitivities like the Popular Front to avoid tensions,” he regretted.
Responding to our question on the outlook for 2018, Riadh Sidaoui said that with the revival of tourism, an essential part of the national economy, the situation will improve in Tunisia.
By Hamza Marzouk
Posted on 12/30/2017 at 11:46 AM
The Maghrebian Economist