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Cablegate: Tunisian Mfa Statement On Concern Over Situation

VZCZCXRO7979
PP RUEHROV
DE RUEHTU #0067 0221546
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 221546Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY TUNIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4325
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS TUNIS 000067

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

NEA/IPA AND NEA/MAG (HOPKINS/HARRIS);
LONDON AND PARIS FOR NEA WATCHER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL KPAL TS
SUBJECT: TUNISIAN MFA STATEMENT ON CONCERN OVER SITUATION
IN PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES

REF: TUNIS 44

1. (SBU) Summary. On January 21, the Tunisian Foreign
Ministry (MFA) released a statement regarding its concern
about the situation in the Palestinian Territories. The
statement received broad coverage in the Tunisian press, and
government and ruling party newspapers carried the story on
the front page. The statement comes less than ten days after
the MFA issued a statement expressing satisfaction with
President Bush's efforts to promote peace in the Middle East
(reftel). Tunisian opposition parties close to the ruling
party also released a similar statement on January 21. End
Summary.

2. (U) On January 21, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA)
issued a statement that received wide coverage in the local
media. Text of the MFA communique (official Tunisia-Africa
Press Agency translation) is as follows:

Begin Text. Tunisia is following with great concern and deep
anxiety the deteriorating situation in the Palestinian
territories, especially in the Gaza Strip, which might result
in a humanitarian disaster. While reasserting its rejection
of the logic of force and all forms and practices of
repression, as well as measures of blockade, sealing-off and
disruption of all forms of re-supplying vital to the
brotherly Palestinian people's daily life, Tunisia reiterates
its call to the international community to urgently and
efficiently intervene to put a halt to the Palestinian
people's sufferings and guarantee to them the necessary
protection. Tunisia considers that the persistent escalation
represents a serious menace to the efforts and initiatives
aimed to revive the talks, and to the future of the peace
process, and compounds the region's complex situation. End
Text.

3. (U) The Tunisia-Africa Press Agency (TAP), the official
government news agency, also issued a statement quoting the
loyal opposition parties Socialist Democratic Movement (MDS),
People's Unity Party (PUP), and Unionist Democratic Union
(UDU). According to the press release, the MDS (the largest
opposition party in parliament), "voices deep concern about
the escalation of the situation and the blockade imposed on
the brotherly Palestinian people, reiterating the Movement's
solidarity with and support to the Palestinian cause." The
PUP, "expresses deep concern about the Israeli aggression
against the Palestinian people's children in Gaza. PUP calls
for an urgent Arab action to put an end to this aggression,
stressing the need for the Palestinian national forces to
start a broad national dialogue that would lay down a
platform for an international consensus." The UDU condemned,
"the Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip and calls on all
national and Arab forces to support the Palestinian people
and work to lift the unfair blockade imposed on them." Per
the TAP press release, the independent Tunisian Bar
Association also issued a statement supporting the removal of
the "blockade."
GODEC

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