14 June 2012

Tunisia: 'Situation is Normal in Tunisia,' Says EU Representative

Tunis — "Despite pictures of riots aired by the media, the situation is normal and I will convey this message to our European fellow-citizens," said Mr. Bernardino Leon, European Union (EU) Special Representative for the Southern Mediterranean region.

"I have not seen any violence in Tunis where I drove around for two hours, but I know that there was violence in some districts and I consider the situation as normal," Mr. Leon said at his meeting, Thursday in Tunis, with Interim Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali.

He stressed the EU support to the tourism sector, investments and economic success in Tunisia, areas in which the EU "has a lot of faith," he said.

Mr. Leon also reiterated the European Union's support for democratic transition in Tunisia, the Tunisian Government and political forces "which believe in the rule of law and democracy and are facing threats from anti-democratic groups."

The EU representative said "the Interim PM had expressed, during the meeting, his attachment to the principles of democracy, freedom of expression and movement."

"I was assured by the Prime Minister that the curfew is only temporary and that the situation will be back to normal as soon as possible," he added.

"We have confidence in the government and political forces in Tunisia to enhance democratic principles and face up to the current situation, knowing that EU will always remain Tunisia's most important ally", he said.

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