US approves revolt in Tunisia, says diplomat

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

WASHINGTON - The United States has said that it fully supports the revolt in the Northern African republic of Tunisia, and would do whatever is required and appropriate for conducting a general election in that country.

The Los Angeles Times quoted Jeffrey Feltman, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, as saying that Washington had offered the fragile new government “whatever support is appropriate and requested” in conducting a nationwide election.

The transitional government has promised to conduct balloting in six months. But for now, it faces a mounting movement opposed to the inclusion in the Cabinet of former figures in the deposed regime of President Zine el Abidine ben Ali, who fled the country for Saudi Arabia on January 14.

Tunisia is starkly divided over the inclusion of key members of Ben Ali’s former ruling party in crucial positions. Activists backed by powerful labor unions have set up a rowdy encampment outside the prime minister’s office and demanded the removal of those officials from the government.

Feltman, who served as a diplomat in Tunisia from 1998 to 2000, said the political rift “symbolizes a new spirit” in the country.

He rejected reports circulating in Tunisian and European news media, that the Obama administration had pushed President Ben Ali out of office. (ANI)

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