Controversy in Tunisia over the fate of a boat carrying medical alcohol

A ship loaded with medical alcohol, intended for the manufacture of hydro-alcoholic gel, connecting China to Tunisia, would have been hijacked and redirected to Italy, revealed on March 23 Mohamed el-Msellini, the Tunisian Minister of Trade , who has since returned to this statement.

The video still exists and it has been widely shared on the Web in Tunisia where the news creates controversy. We see Mohamed el-Msellini, Tunisian Minister of Trade, affirming to the private channel Elhiwar Ettounsi that ” a ship heading to Tunisia was pirated at sea by the Italians ” On March 24, on radio Shams FM, the same minister returned to his statements specifying that he had spoken of a diversion at sea But without mentioning the Italians this time. The minister then adds that it is a freighter without further details.

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Reached by RFI on Wednesday, the minister’s office declined to comment on the case. The news still worried Tunisian opinion, especially since it comes shortly after another controversy which pitted the Czech Republic and Italy over a shipment comprising tens of thousands of masks and respirators intended for Italy.

In any case, the incident does not seem to disrupt relations between the two countries. On Wednesday, the Italian Development Agency announced that the two countries were continuing ” their cooperation to overcome this difficult time together ” In particular, Italy has granted a € 50 million aid loan to the Tunisian Central Bank to support businesses facing the impact of the coronavirus.

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