(MENAFN -Arab News) tunis: tunisia's tourism minister on friday denied israeli tourists aboard a cruise ship who were prevented from entering the country had been discriminated against, saying there had been a procedural problem
The miami-based norwegian cruise line said on monday a ?small number? of israeli passengers on one of its ships were not allowed to disembark in tunis ?because of a last-minute decision made by the tunisian government?
Ncl said the next day that ?in response to this discriminatory act, ... it has canceled all remaining calls to tunisia and will not return.
But tourism minister amel karboul told journalists that ?as in all the countries in the world, for certain nationalities, there are obligatory visas or passes.
?it is not linked to one nationality.
She said israelis are usually required to apply for a pass to enter tunisia because of the absence of diplomatic ties between the countries
?this time, the procedures were not followed in the necessary timeframe. they do not have the possibility to buy the visa? on arrival, karboul said
Tunisia's key tourism sector has been in crisis since the uprising that ousted former autocrat zine el abidine ben ali in 2011.