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COMMISSION STATEMENT REGARDING UNREST IN TUNISIA

WASHINGTON –U.S Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission), and Co-Chairman Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) today expressed concern about the continued instability in Tunisia and called on all political leaders in the country to move quickly to establish the rule of law and ensure that Tunisians’ civil and human rights are protected.

“We are distressed by the recent violence and urge the country’s leaders to move quickly to create an interim government that is fully representative and transparent, and works to address the needs and hopes of the Tunisian people,”  said Chairman Cardin.

Co-Chairman Hastings, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Special Representative for Mediterranean Affairs, said that from the beginning of the Helsinki process, Tunisia has been an important Mediterranean Partner for Cooperation.  “The holding of free, open and fair elections as soon as possible is critical to ensuring that every citizen of Tunisia has a stake in the new government,” said Hastings. “The OSCE and its Parliamentary Assembly should offer assistance to Tunisia as it prepares for new national elections.”

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