Tunisia Suspends All Emirates Airlines Flights After UAE Bars Women Travellers

| December 25 , 2017 , 10:24 IST

The North African country of Tunisia has announced the suspension of all Emirates Airlines flights to and from its nation two days after the United Arab Emirates-based carrier barred women from Tunisia to board their flights to Dubai.

In a statement, Tunisia's transport ministry on its Facebook page said that it "has decided to suspend flights of Emirates Airlines to and from Tunisia until the company can find a suitable solution to operate its flights in accordance with international laws and treaties".

Emirates Airlines confirmed the suspension in a tweet:

On Friday, Emirates Airlines had said that based on a directive from the UAE government, female Tunisian nationals would be denied entry to UAE, either for visiting or transit and therefore Tunisian women would also not be allowed to board Emirates Airlines flights towards Dubai.

The UAE ambassador to Tunisia Salem Zeabi was called into the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday to "provide clarification on the measure banning" Tunisian women from flying to or transiting through the Gulf state's territory.

In response, Zeabi reportedly said the measure was "temporary and relating to security arrangements".

The UAE's minister of state for foreign affairs Anwar Gargash also cited security as the reason for the travel restriction.

"We have contacted our Tunisian brothers about security information that necessitated taking specific and circumstantial measures," Gargash said on Twitter.

In a statement on Friday, Tunisia's Ministry of Transport said that such actions are "illegal" and "contradictory to the regulations in force in international civil aviation".