10 November 2012

Tunisia: NCA Speaker - 'Dialogue of Cultures Involves Not Only States, but Should Also Engage Civil Society, Elites and Media'

Tunis — "The fundamental changes the Arab world is witnessing require from all countries, including Tunisia, to lay the foundations of a serious and responsible dialogue and to further strengthen ties of rapprochement and understanding, based on mutual respect, tolerance and partnership," said National Constituent Assembly (NCA) Speaker Mustapha Ben Jaafar, on Friday in Rome.

On the inauguration of the Arab-European Institute for the Dialogue of Cultures, he pointed out that "these changes also invite all countries to encourage cultural and civilisational exchanges, correct the causes of racism and extremism and consecrate international and human solidarity."

"Civilisational differences," he went on saying, "should be factors of rapprochement and understanding between nations and peoples."

Mr. Ben Jaafar added that education and culture are all major assets for disseminating the culture of tolerance and solidarity and building up a secure and prosperous future for all mankind.

In this connection, the NCA Speaker pointed out that civilisational dialogue does not only involve the States, but it should also engage civil society, the elites, the intellectuals and media.

The politicians' role remains crucial to preserve peace and favour dialogue and solidarity between nations, he added.

He also stressed that dialogue between cultures and civilisations, as well as international solidarity, should contribute to deep-rooting responsibility towards such oppressed and colonised peoples like the Palestinians whose rights are regularly and openly transgressed.

Mr. Ben Jaafar also emphasised the imperative to find concrete solutions to the issue of immigration and to devise a participatory and consensual approach that deals with immigration as a factor of cultural rapprochement and civilisational integration.

"It would be pointless to establish a free-trade area between the two Mediterranean shores and open up frontiers to goods and capitals, while these borders are increasingly restricted to the free movement of people," he added.

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