Tunisia bans Emirates airlines from its territory

UAE carriers were "banned" from landing in Tunisia after Dubai's national carrier Emirates refused boarding to Tunisian women under the age of 30.

Tunisia's transport ministry said in a statement that the Arab carrier would be suspended until it found a way to operate according to worldwide law and treaties.

The UAE said "security information" had caused the delays.

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Tunisia suspended all flights of the Emirates Airlines on Sunday, a United Arab Emirates (UAE) owned airline, said the Tunisia Transport Ministry.

The transport ministry said the measure would stay in place until Emirates was able to "operate flights in accordance with law and worldwide agreements".

Subsequently Tunisian civil organisations and political parties called on the government to take action.

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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.

"We have contacted our Tunisian brothers about security information that necessitated taking specific and circumstantial measures", Gargash wrote on Twitter. "We will avoid attempts at misinterpretation and misrepresentation".

Despite the clarification, Tunisian rights groups issued a statement on Saturday condemning the UAE measures as "discriminatory and racist".

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"In the UAE, we are proud of empowering women, we appreciate Tunisian women, and respect them". When the Tunisian government demanded an explanation from UAE ambassador, they said that this measure was just temporary and it has been lifted.

  • Ryan Wade