Emirates stops flights to Tunisia after 'instruction'

Image for representational purpose only | Reuters

The Tunisian transport ministry issued a statement saying Emirates flights would be suspended "until the company finds an appropriate solution to operate its flights that follows worldwide laws and treaties".

In response, Zeabi reportedly said the measure was "temporary and relating to security arrangements".

Tunisia's foreign ministry called for the envoy on Friday in the wake of the sudden ban on Tunisian women entering the UAE, the state-run TAP news agency reported.

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The statement, which was posted on the Transport Ministry's Facebook page, did not elaborate on the reasons for the move.

The Tunisian presidency said Monday the United Arab Emirates' authorities have explained they made the decision following "serious security information" about alleged plans for attacks by Tunisian women, or women with Tunisian passports, from "tense hotbeds" in Syria and Iraq.

The travel ban has sparked a wave of fierce criticism in Tunisia.

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"We consider this unjustified and surprising decision an infringement on Tunisia's reputation and for explicitly on Tunisian women", Daimi said.

Tunisia has been trying to fix diplomatic ties with the UAE damaged by its 2011 revolution and after the Islamic party Al-Nahda, which has strong links with Qatar, came to power in the North African country.

This prompted widespread angry reactions on social media and media outlets in Tunisia, with the rights groups condemning the measures as "discriminatory and racist".

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In February, the UAE lifted visa restrictions on Tunisians that had been imposed two years earlier.

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