By Yamna Salimi
Tunisia has rejected a NATO proposal that would allow NATO officials to use a planned military command center, according to Tunisia’s defense minister.
In a Monday statement, Abdul Karim al-Zubaidi said his ministry had rejected the proposal, by which Tunisia would receive a 3-million-euro grant in exchange for letting NATO officers maintain a presence at military operations center the country plans to establish.
At a session of parliament’s security committee, al-Zubaidi said his ministry was currently working on plans to establish a “joint command center to coordinate between Tunisia’s air, land and sea forces”.
The command center, the location of which has yet to be decided, would also be tasked with “ensuring border security and helping in the fight against terrorism,” al-Zubaidi said.
He went on to assert that “no one from outside Tunisia’s military establishment” would enjoy access to the planned operations center.
The defense minister also pointed to “continued threats” posed by regional terrorist groups, both inside Tunisia and in neighboring Libya and Algeria.
In recent years, Tunisia has witnessed several acts of terrorism that have left dozens of people -- including security personnel and foreign tourists -- dead.