The UK Foreign Office is considering easing the travel warning to Tunisia, reports the London daily “The Guardian”, adding that the move would delight a tourist sector almost wiped out by last year’s terror attack which claimed the lives of 30 British holidaymakers.
The lifting of the advice, which was imposed after the killing last June of 38 tourists on a beach near Sousse and warns against all but essential travel to every part of Tunisia, is unlikely to be proposed until after the end of Ramadan.
It would have to be agreed across the government, and would probably be lifted in phases, with certain areas still subject to the warning until the whole country is deemed to be safe.
Tunisia’s tourism minister, Selma Elloumi Rekik, said she had received assurances of a shift in Britain’s position after she held private meetings with Tobias Ellwood, a junior minister at the UK Foreign Office, last week.
Ellwood travelled to Tunisia to take part in the anniversary memorial for the tourists who were gunned down at Port el Kantaoui, near Sousse.
The Tunisian ambassador to the UK, Nabil Ammar, who comes from Sousse, has made a public plea for a change in the British stance, saying that a gap now existed between the “perception of the level of security and the real security in the country”.
“Every week terrorist cells are dismantled. Terrorists are arrested or neutralized. This should give a positive image, not a negative one, he said.