BFF-25 Tunisia fires envoy to UN, reportedly over Trump plan

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Tunisia fires envoy to UN, reportedly over Trump plan

TUNIS, Feb 7, 2020 (BSS/AFP) – Tunisia fired its ambassador to the UN on
Friday accusing him of failing to consult the ministry on key issues that
diplomatic sources said included Washington’s controversial Middle East peace
plan.

“Tunisia’s ambassador to the United Nations has been dismissed for purely
professional reasons concerning his weak performance and lack of coordination
with the ministry on important matters under discussion at the UN,” a foreign
ministry statement said.

Diplomatic sources said that ambassador Moncef Baati, who has sat on the
UN Security Council since the start of the year, had gone further than
President Kais Saied wanted in his criticism of US President Donald Trump’s
long-delayed peace plan.

Saied, a political outsider who only took office in November after an
upset election victory, was concerned that Baati’s expressions of support for
the Palestinians risked damaging Tunisia’s relations with the United States,
the sources said.

Baati’s swift recall to Tunis meant that he missed a close-door briefing
of the Security Council on Thursday by the plan’s architect, Trump adviser
and son-in-law Jared Kushner.

After the briefing, Kushner blamed Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas for
a spike in violence in Israel and the Palestinian territories since the
unveiling of the plan on January 28.

“He calls for days of rage in response and he said that even before he saw
the plan,” Kushner told reporters in New York.

BSS/AFP/RY/1920 hrs