Tunisian minister resigns after praising French counterpart
Tunisian Foreign Minister Ahmed Ounaies resigned on Sunday, according to the ministry, becoming the second minister in just over two weeks to step down.
The move came after he was sharply criticized for praising his French counterpart Michele Alliot-Marie, dpa reported.
Alliot-Marie is very unpopular in the North African country because she offered French support for Tunisian police in their efforts to put down the protests that led to the ouster of president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in January. Dozens of protesters were killed.
She spent her December holidays in Tunisia, despite the country already being in the throes of an uprising. While there she had the use of a plane owned by a businessman linked to Ben Ali's regime.
Ounaies, 75, had said that meeting Alliot-Marie during a visit to France on February 4 had been like a dream come true.
He saw in her a friend of Tunisia and loved listening to the minister, he said.
Ounaies was reportedly already absent from a delegation that met with German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle on Saturday.
His predecessor Kamel Morjane resigned on January 27 after coming under pressure from protesters, who saw him as part of the old regime.