Tunisia to continue talks to solve political crisis

Tunisia was to push ahead on Monday with talks to resolve a political crisis sparked by the assassination of an opposition politician last month, but with no signs of compromise.

The ruling Islamist Ennahda party was to hold fresh talks with the powerful UGTT trade union to try and find a way out of the weeks-old crisis.

Ennahda revealed on Sunday that its leader Rached Ghannouchi had met the chief of the opposition party Nidaa Tounes, ex-premier Beji Caid Essebsi, a sworn enemy of the Islamists, while on a European tour last week.

Few details of the meeting emerged, but late on Sunday Ennahda’s decision-making body said it endorsed the position of Ghannouchi, who has proposed a broad-based national unity government while rejecting opposition calls for the formation of a technocrat administration.

“We remain committed to our approach… We are for a national unity government headed by Ennahda,” the president of the party ‘s Shura Council, Fethi Ayadi, told a news conference.

He said his party supported the idea of “national dialogue,” under the auspices of the presidency and the UGTT, whose leader Houcine Abassi is expected to hold talks with Ghannouchi.

Their discussions last week failed to achieve any concrete results.


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