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Interim President receives delegation of European and Mediterranean newspaper directors

Published the:  10/06/2011

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June 10, 2011 - TAP - Caretaker President Foued Mebazaa received on Friday a delegation of European and Mediterranean newspaper directors, who are on a visit in Tunisia to attend the colloquium on "Journalists' Role in Democratic Transition Process".
Mr. Mebazaa pointed up the specifics of the transitional phase the country is living through and efforts exerted to carry out successfully the democratisation process.
A free and objective press, he specified, plays a pivotal and decisive role in channeling and boosting these efforts and in consecrating the culture of pluralism, dialogue, tolerance and peaceful co-existence.
He reasserted, in this regard, determination to step up efforts to develop the information sector in Tunisia and take the necessary measures and make the required arrangements to this end, with the aim of making of the press a pillar of all reform actions and seeing to it that Tunisia associates its citizens—all political and ideological trends—in the conception of their country's future.
Director of the Barcelona-based Centre for International Relations and Development Studies (CIDOB) Jordi Vaquer i Fanés said that the meeting had been an occasion to lay emphasis on the importance of media in the democratic transition in Tunisia.
Said he, "we agree that, at this transitional stage, it is imperative that the press fully plays its role," specifying that "an adequate framework should be set up so that the press sector be able to act freely and meet the requirements of the democratic edifice Tunisia wishes to build."
Mr. Kamel Laabidi, Chairman of the National Authority for the Information and Communication Reform (NAICR), which is organising this colloquium in association with CIDOB and the International Institute for the Alliance of Civilisations, said that the Interim President had emphasised the importance of backing up the press sector's reform and reasserted support to all journalists who are keen to develop the profession.
"The experiences of all countries that have thrown off the yoke of dictatorship have proved that it is imperative to open up broad horizons before journalists to help them discharge their mission," he added, "hence, the need to help them improve their professional output by increasing further training opportunities".
He explained that journalists who had been denied for long decades the opportunity to practice their profession now need to improve their skills, stressing that "media development is necessary to support the democratic transition in Tunisia" and that "success of the process could not be achieved without a free and unbiased press".