Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Tunisian President addresses Strasbourg

Today the President of Tunisia addressed the European Parliament in Strasbourg. I was one of the first European politicians to meet with the new government after the 'Arab Spring', and so I was very keen to hear what he had to say.

It was, however, a moment tinged with sadness, as this morning Chokri Belaid, the leader of the opposition, was shot dead in Tunis. It is possible that his secular platform is the reason for this terrible murder.

President Moncef Marzouki leads a moderate Islamic government, and he highlighted Islamic extremism as the greatest threat to Tunisia's new found democracy. He emphasised the need for international political support in order to consolidate that democracy.

A former political exile who lived in Strasbourg, he is an impressive and sincere speaker. I wish him and the Tunisian people well.