Tunisia has once again had to deny allegations of agreeing to host a U.S. military base in the country, reviving speculations over the depth of U.S.-Tunisian relations.
Citing Italian media, a report on the London-based Arabic newspaper Al Arab on July 22 claimed that Tunisia had already begun to receive U.S. surveillance systems in preparation to establish a new U.S. military station in the northwestern coastal city of Haouaria.
The base would eventually operate as a substitute for the Naval Radio Transmitter Facility Niscemi (NRTF Niscemi), a U.S. navy telecommunications station based in Niscemi, Italy, according to the newspaper.
NRTF Niscemi’s operations have been repeatedly interrupted since 2012 after becoming the target of protests and a legal battle with local residents who resisted the installation of MUOS, a U.S. satellite system, in fear of environmental and health damages due to radio waves.
Developed by U.S. Department of Defense, MUOS provides real time communication with soldiers anywhere in the world and enables remote drone piloting – the kind of intelligence network the U.S. wants in its Mideast counterterrorism effort.
Italian media also reported that Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi discussed transferring the surveillance equipment to Haouaria during his visit to Washington in May.
Tunisia rejected all of those allegations.
In a statement, the spokesman of the Tunisian Presidency, Moez Sinaoui, told radio station MosaiqueFM that “Tunisia’s doctrine since independence has been to reject any establishment of a foreign military base in the country.”
Despite multiple attempts made by Al Arabiya News, the Tunisian authorities were not available to comment further.
نستخدم ملفات الكوكيز لنسهل عليك استخدام مواقعنا الإلكترونية ونكيف المحتوى والإعلانات وفقا لمتطلباتك واحتياجاتك الخاصة، لتوفير ميزات وسائل التواصل الاجتماعية ولتحليل حركة المرور لدينا...اعرف أكثر