Emirates flights suspended from Tunisia after ban targets women

Tunisian women and girls have been delayed from boarding planes for the UAE.

:: Controversial security measures taken by the United Arab Emirates against Tunisian women trying to travel to the Gulf state were prompted by fears of a terrorist attack, Tunisia said Monday.

Since Friday Tunisian women and girls have been delayed from boarding planes for the UAE, sparking commotion in the North African nation that led to the suspension of Emirates airline flights to Tunis.

The Tunisian Ministry of Transport announced that the suspension of Emirates Airlines flights to and from Tunisia are only until the airline finds a suitable solution to operate its flights in accordance with international laws and treaties.

“The UAE authorities have serious security information about the possibility of terrorist attacks,” Tunisian presidency spokeswoman Saida Garrach told Shems FM radio on Sunday.

The information indicates that with extremists returning from Syria and Iraq, there is “a possibility of a terrorist attack involving either Tunisian women or women carrying a Tunisian passport,” Garrach said, suggesting that they could be using false identities.

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash on Sunday blamed the delays on “security information that necessitated taking specific procedures”.

“We highly value Tunisian women and respect them,” he said on Twitter.

Tunisian official Garrach insisted that while her country could understand the UAE’s concerns, it cannot “accept the way Tunisian women have been treated”.

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