Tunisia: Mutual Appointment of Ambassadors with Syria Planned

by | Apr 3, 2023 | Diplomacy, Tunisia


On 3 April 2023, President Kais Saied instructed Foreign Minister Nabil Ammar to pursue the appointment of an ambassador to Syria, a move which had been signaled since February.

In the following days, FM Ammar held a call with his Syrian counterpart and welcomed the news, ensuring that Syria would plan to reopen its diplomatic mission in Tunis with an ambassador appointed as the head of mission.

These developments come after signals from President Saied that Tunisia had interests in Syria that would be served by a normalization of diplomatic relations. The devastating earthquake on 6 February 2023 in southern Turkey and northern Syria appeared to accelerate plans toward normalization as Tunisia sent search and rescue teams and other aid to Syria along with other Arab states.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has been actively pursuing normalization with Syria and Iran, signaling the potential opportunity for the reintegration of the Bashar al-Assad regime into the fold of Arab states.


Tunisia remains interested in developments in Syria, having grown infamous for the number of Tunisian’s who took up arms on Syrian battle fields, including several thousand that continue to participate in the conflict. Tunisia is also eager to develop additional partners, including among Arab states, as it looks for potential donors to support the floundering economy. With pressure for economic reform becoming stronger from Western partners, Tunisia may be increasingly willing to drum up support from other partners, including the Gulf states who have, at times, provided funding.

At present, the potential blowback from Western partners appears limited should Tunisian pursue normalization with Syria. However, further developments in the relationship could attract the ire of Western benefactors who continue to shun the al-Assad regime accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity many times over during the 12 years of civil war that have ravaged Syria.


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