Tunisia and Qatar propose “Western-Islamic” conference

Tunisian President Kais Saied and Qatar will seek to promote dialogue between Muslims and the West to avoid Islamophobic reactions after terrorist operations, said Mr Saied on Sunday during a visit to Doha.

The Tunisian president told the Qatar news agency that Doha and Tunis were proposing to hold a Western-Islamic conference… aimed at creating a better understanding and overcoming obstacles that arise after certain terrorist operations.

This initiative seems to be a response to recent remarks by French President Emmanuel Macron, according to which Islam is in crisis, after a series of jihadist attacks in France.

Last month, Macron unveiled a strategy to defend his country against radical Islamism, attracting a rain of criticism across the Muslim world.

According to Mr Saied, quoted by the Qatar State Agency, this Western-Islamic conference would also aim to avoid confusing Muslims with those extremists who claim to be Muslims, because it is necessary to differentiate between the true objectives of Islam and terrorism, which has absolutely nothing to do with Islam.

He did not give more details on this conference.

Mr. Saied and a large Tunisian delegation were in Qatar for a three-day state visit, during which the two countries also discussed the conflict in Libya, according to the Qatar Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which did not give further details.

The visit came after a week of talks on Libya in Tunisia, under the aegis of the United Nations, which ended on Sunday without succeeding in designating a unified executive for the country.

These discussions brought together 75 Libyan delegates from all sides selected by the United Nations to try to end a decade of war in the North African country. Observers criticized the method of selecting delegates, doubting their representativeness.

Qatar played an important role in Libya, signing last month a security agreement with the United Nations-recognized Government of National Unity (GNA), one of two administrations fighting for power.