EU demands `genuine` reform in Egypt, Tunisia

European Union on Tuesday demanded "genuine" reform in Tunisia and Egypt.

Updated: Feb 08, 2011, 23:45 PM IST

United Nations: The European Union on Tuesday
demanded "genuine" reform in Tunisia and Egypt and its foreign
policy chief offered help for the North African countries to
battle corruption.

Catherine Ashton told the UN Security Council that it
was not yet clear how far the "major change" sweeping through
the Middle East would go with "demonstrations of the basic
wish for people to be guaranteed political participation,
fundamental freedoms, social justice and economic
development."

"Our position is clear: the democratic aspirations of
citizens must be met through dialogue, genuine political
reform, and free and fair elections that are well-prepared,"
the EU`s high representative for foreign affairs said.

"These are not just words," Ashton said, offering
Europe`s "practical support to the transition processes." She
said she had already spoken to Tunisia`s Foreign Minister
Ahmed Ounaies and would visit North Africa next week.

"We know from our own experience how difficult the
establishment of genuine democracy can be," Ashton said.

"We know from our own experience how difficult the
establishment of genuine democracy can be," Ashton said.

"So we will not just help countries to run free and
fair elections, but also to fight corruption, make local
administration more transparent, ensure independent media and
make the justice system fully independent," Ashton said,
adding that the events made it imperative for progress in the
Israel-Palestinian peace process.

PTI

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