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Burns : optimistic about a successful political transition in Tunisia

Published the:  24/02/2011

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February 24, 2011 - TAP - US Deputy Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns reaffirmed on Thursday February 24, 2011 in Tunis, the support of the United States to the process of democratic transition in Tunisia.
The US Official, who is visiting Tunisia a few days after the two US Senators John McCain and Joseph Lieberman, hailed the Tunisian revolution saying "it has been carried out by Tunisians and should be a source of pride for all Tunisians".
"This is a historic moment. Noon will ever forget that the wave of aspirations for freedom and dignity in the Arab World has started in Tunisia", he told reporters.
He also said that during his visit in Tunisia, he had, together with White house Adviser for Economic Affairs David Lipton, talks with the Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister, Economic Officials in the Interim Government and Civil Society leaders.
''We listened carefully to their priorities and we will look urgently at ways to support Tunisia", he stated.
Besides, he said that the US is working with its partners in Europe to provide ''rapid and tangible support to Tunisia in terms of financial stability and long term economic modernization and development''.
''A US trade mission is coming to Tunisia next month'', he added ''to advertise the enormous potential of the Tunisian economy and promote the prospects provided by the sectors of economy and tourism.
At political level, the US official said his country will provide support to the process of political transition in Tunisia through holding ''free and fair elections''.
He said he was "optimistic" about a ''successful'' political transition in Tunisia. "We believe that Tunisia has the opportunity to be, both a model of political transition and economic development ", he declared, highlighting the assets of Tunisia in terms of economic development, skilled human resources and high level of education and in matters of women's rights and tolerance.
He also expressed his country's will to keep on providing military assistance to Tunisia.
As regards the threat of Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQMI) in Tunisia, he said he expected Tunisia to be able to avoid this threat by means of the gains it achieved.
As to the situation in Libya, the US Official affirmed that the US is joining the International Community in "strongly condemning violence in Libya".