DUBAI (Reuters) - The United Arab Emirates said on Thursday it would resume flights to Tunisia after an exchange of security information, resolving a row over a ban on female Tunisian passengers.
A statement by the foreign ministry on state news agency WAM said the decision was taken in light of extensive cooperation and information received from the Tunisian side that eased the national carriers’ concerns.
The UAE had angered Tunisia by banning Tunisian women from its passenger flights in December, but Tunis later said the UAE was acting on intelligence that female jihadists returning from Iraq or Syria could try to use Tunisian passports to stage attacks.
“In light of preventing dangers and threats that should be avoided to the largest degree, and in light of an extensive security dialogue and information received from the Tunisian side, the concerned authorities in the UAE have decided to return to normal procedures before the extraordinary circumstance,” the statement said.
Tunisia suspended flights from Dubai carrier Emirates to Tunis on Dec. 24 after the airline had refused to carry Tunisian women.
The UAE had not commented publicly on the issue until Thursday, except for a tweet by its minister of state for foreign affairs, Anwar Gargash, which said both countries had been in contact about “security measure information”, adding that his country valued and respected Tunisian women.
Reporting By Maha El Dahan, editing by Jeremy Gaunt