Tunisian minister ousted for linking Saudi ideology with extremism


A TUNISIA DEMO2religious affairs minister has been fired from the government after linking Saudi Arabia’s religious ideology with extremism, Deutsche Welle reports:

The minister, Abdeljalil Ben Salem, had been relieved of his post by Tunisia‘s Prime Minister Youssef Chahed last Friday after claiming Saudi Arabia’s religious doctrine, Wahhabism, inspires terrorism. …. Critics of Ben Salam’s dismissal in Tunisia are wary of the kind of influence Saudi money can have on Tunisia’s secular environment. They also argue that Tunisia should follow in the footsteps of the United States and Europe, who have long enjoyed economic ties with Saudi Arabia but have recently started to accuse the Wahhabist ideology of being extremist.

In an effort to improve the business environment and accelerate economic reforms, the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) and the Tunisian think tank Institut Arabe des Chefs d’Entreprises (IACE) have launched a hotline to help local businesses deal with red tape and bureaucratic roadblocks.

“This initiative will make it easier for Tunisian entrepreneurs to start and grow businesses,” CIPE Managing Director Andrew Wilson said today. “We are impressed with how the private and public sectors in Tunisia are working together to resolve issues that impede economic development. Improving the business environment is key to boosting the economy and creating much-needed jobs.”

Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed complimented the initiative for its potential to identify needed reforms and improve democratic governance: “The launch of the new SOS IJRAAT platform, under the National Business Agenda initiative, is a contribution to the establishment of good governance and a mechanism that seeks to improve the relationship between the administration and Tunisian enterprises.”

The Washington, D.C.-based Center for International Private Enterprise is a core institute of the National Endowment for Democracy and an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. RTWT

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