GCC chief slams Gannouchi over remarks

December 14, 2012

Gulf Cooperation Council secretary-general Abdul Lateef Al Zayani has slammed remarks attributed to Rashid Gannouchi, the leader of Tunisia’s Al Nahda party, about the situation in the GCC countries.

Al Zayani reportedly said the statements are an unacceptable interference in the domestic affairs of the GCC.

The GCC chief expressed his dismay over the hints made by Gannouchi about the internal matters of some of the GCC countries and hoped that they did not reflect the official position of the Tunisian government, Al Zayani said in a press statement.

The GCC also hopes that the statements will not have an effect on the relations between the GCC and Tunisia, the statement said.

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Gannouchi, who does not have an official position in the government led by his party, reportedly said in an interview that he expected “the victory of the Syrian revolution and reforms in more than one Arab country, particularly in the Gulf region.”

The Tunisian religious scholar has often waded into controversy both at home and abroad for his remarks.

His party, the clear winner of the October 2011 elections, the first free multi-parts polls in Tunisia, has also come under fire for not being sufficiently decisive in its positions and for not doing enough to reach out to the various segments making up the Tunisian society, especially the poor and the needy.

Internationally, Al Nahda’s leader has been seen as promoting an Islamist agenda for the Arab countries.

In the interview in London, Gannouchi said that that Islamist movements would eventually become the reference point throughout the Arab world after a difficult transition period.

Analysts in the GCC countries have often said that the uprisings in some Arab countries were caused by the high levels of corruption and unemployment and by the difficult living conditions of their citizens.




About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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