Tunisia and Algeria reopen land border after two years' closure

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A few cars and signs celebrating the Algerian-Tunisian friendship: the reopening of the land border between the two countries after more than two years of closure is taking place Friday in a fluid way near Tabarka, according to journalists of the AFP Tunisian side.

The Tunisian authorities expect more than one million Algerian visitors this summer, including a majority of tourists, at the nine crossing points between the two countries reopened at midnight Thursday night.

The decision to reopen the land borders, closed because of the health crisis of Covid-19, had been announced on July 5 by President Abdelmajid Tebboune to his Tunisian counterpart Kais Said.

The border post of Melloula, near Tabarka (north-west), is the most important, according to Jamel Zrig, an official of the National Guard, with 25% of the entries of Algerians via this border in 2019.

"Long live the Algerian-Tunisian brotherhood," proclaimed a large banner in the border area.

Visitors had to check the compliance of their documents Covid in a building surmounted by the inscription: "Welcome to our Algerian brothers, in their second country, Tunisia.

In 2019, nearly 3 million Algerians had come to Tunisia, a third of foreign visitors in this year marked by a strong recovery in tourism.

They had chosen the neighboring country to visit, to treat themselves or to find family while the links between the two states are traditionally very close since the Algerian war against the French colonial power (1954-1962).

Large Algerian cities, such as Annaba or Constantine, are located not far from the border with Tunisia.

Algerians particularly appreciate the seaside resorts of Sousse and Hammamet as well as the holy city of Kairouan and like to come and spend the end-of-year holidays in Tunisia.

The land borders had been closed by Algeria on March 17, 2020 due to the epidemic of Covid, remaining open only for emergencies.

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