UK foreign secretary arrives in Tunisia

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
February 8, 2011 11:27

 
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LONDON — Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague arrived in Tunisia on Tuesday, kicking off a whirlwind three-day trip to visit five countries in northern Africa and the Middle East amid a wave of popular protests in the region.

Hague will call "for greater political openness and economic development in the Middle East in the light of recent events in Tunisia and Egypt," and look to strengthen ties in the region, the UK Foreign Office said in a statement.

In Tunisia, the foreign secretary will meet with key figures in the country's interim government, including Prime Minister Mohammmed Ghannouchi following the ouster of former dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

A spokesman for the foreign office said the trip will not include Egypt, where mass protests have gripped the country and forced concessions from President Hosni Mubarak's regime.

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