A Tunisian Olympic gold medallist has slammed the UAE over its recent controversial travel ban of Tunisian women, which caused a diplomatic crisis between the two countries.
Long distance runner Habiba Ghribi told on Saturday that the "shocking" ban was an insult to the dignity of Tunisian women.
"The decision has angered me because it has violated the dignity of Tunisian women, who I think are the strongest and [most] influential Arab women," Ghribi said.
"Whatever the reasons are behind the move, I stand in solidarity with Tunisian women," the steeplechase runner said.
"It was a shocking and incomprehensible move, which has violated the dignity of Arab women more than Tunisian ones.
I am interested to know the motives behind it," she added.
Ghribi won the silver medal in the 3,000 metres steeplechase at the 2012 London Olympic games.
The Emirates' decision has caused an outcry in Tunisia.
The UAE men's handball team cut short a trip to Tunisia on Friday after Tunisian sporting authorities appointed female referees for a game in solidarity with women.
Handball federation secretary general Amir Saadi said women had been appointed as referees for a friendly match between the two national teams.
But, according to Saadi, the UAE team announced it was forfeiting that game and another scheduled for Saturday for "technical reasons", citing the absence of ten players and injuries of four others.
They had said "there was no link with political affairs", he added.
Tunisian social media users have slammed the travel measures against women from their country as "discriminatory" and "humiliating".