British foreign secretary in Tunisia for talks

09:26, February 09, 2011      

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British Foreign Secretary William Hague arrived in Tunisia on Tuesday, starting a three-day visit to five countries in North Africa and the Middle East, the British Foreign Ministry announced.

The Foreign Ministry said Hague's whirlwind visit will seek to further strengthen Britain's historic partnerships in the Middle East and Gulf.

On Tuesday the foreign secretary met with leading figures from the interim government, including Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi and International Cooperation Minister Mohamed Nouri Jouini.

Hague's trip will not include a trip to Egypt, where mass protests have gripped the country and forced concessions from President Hosni Mubarak, the Foreign Ministry said.

A a nationwide protest in Tunisia that led to the ouster of former dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was triggered Dec. 17 by the suicide of an unemployed graduate-turned street vendor in the southern city of Sidi Bouzid who set himself on fire after his unlicensed fruit cart was confiscated by police.

Source: Xinhua
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