"Tunisia turned down NATO's proposal to maintain presence at future military operations centre" (Zbidi) | Tunisia News Gazette

“Tunisia turned down NATO’s proposal to maintain presence at future military operations centre” (Zbidi)

Defence Minister Abdelkrim Zbidi said his Department has categorically rejected the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO)’s proposal to provide expertise by maintaining presence at a military operations centre Tunisia plans to establish.

Speaking at a hearing by the Parliamentary Security and Defence Committee, Zbidi added that European Union had pledged three million euros in donation for the creation of that centre, provided it would be based in Gabes.

He explained that the European side is still studying the issue of donation, after the refusal of the presence of an element outside the military institution and the persistence in choosing the location of the project,” without this being imposed by anyone”.

Zbidi’s statement comes in response to questions from members of the committee which focused mainly on military co-operation with foreign parties, means to address new threats such as terrorism, unorganised crime and illegal migration and reasons for disinterest in military service.

Responding to a question about the degree of effectiveness in the fight against smuggling, the Minister of Defence said the figures recorded are below expectations, but noted that the electronic system being installed will achieve an effectiveness rate of more than 95% against this phenomenon.

In this context, he stressed the need to amend the legislative system, saying it is a weak point in addressing the phenomenon of smuggling.

Source: TAP News Agency

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