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Tunisia FM Sacked

FILE Tunisia's President Kais Saied gives a speech at Carthage Palace outside the capital Tunis. Taken Feb. 27, 2020.

Tunisian President Kais Saied dismissed Foreign Minister Othman Jerandi on Tuesday, replacing him with the former ambassador to the European Union and Belgium Nabil Ammar.

A statement from the presidency's office announcing the change did not give any reason for Jerandi's dismissal or Ammar's appointment.

Jerandi tweeted earlier on Tuesday that he had phoned his Syrian counterpart after Saied had tasked him with directing aid to Syria and Turkey in response to the earthquakes there.

Jerandi was appointed foreign minister in 2020 and had previously served in the role from 2013-14.

The switch comes as Tunisia navigates the political uncertainty unleashed after Saied's seizure of broad powers in 2021 and as it seeks foreign aid to ward off a looming crisis in its public finances.

Saied replaced most government ministers in late 2021 after shutting down parliament, sacking the prime minister and moving to rule by decree, but at that time he kept Jerandi in place.