US urges Saied to adhere to principles of democracy
July 27 2021 11:30 PM
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken,
Blinken "urged Tunisian President to maintain open dialogue with all political actors and the Tunisian people

QNA/Washington

* PQ- Ennahdha party, which was the strongest group in the coalition government, has labelled Sunday's power grab a "coup d'etat" while the US, EU and other powers have also voiced strong concern

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in a phone call on Monday with Tunisian President Kais Saied, encouraged him "to adhere to the principles of democracy and human rights," US State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.
Blinken "urged President Saied to maintain open dialogue with all political actors and the Tunisian people, noting that the United States would continue to monitor the situation and stay engaged," Price said.
The US State Department spokesman had announced in a previous statement that Washington is closely monitoring developments in Tunisia, stressing that the department has warned against taking any actions that could stifle democratic discourse or lead to violence.
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki had expressed Washington's concern about developments in Tunisia.
"We are concerned about the developments in Tunisia," Psaki said at a news briefing.
"We are in touch at a senior level from both the White House and the State Department with Tunisian leaders to learn more about the situation, urge calm and support Tunisian efforts to move forward in line with democratic principles," she added.
In a coup on Sunday, the Tunisian president dismissed premier Hichem Mechichi and ordered parliament closed for 30 days. Saied then sacked the defence minister and justice minister.
The European Union has called for a speedy return to political stability in Tunisia after the country plunged into turmoil following the president's ousting of the prime minister, AFP said in a report from Brussels Tuesday.
"The European Union is following developments in Tunisia with the greatest attention," the bloc's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Tunisia's leading Islamist party moved Tuesday to ease the country's political crisis, calling for dialogue and urging supporters not to protest after accusing President Kais Saied of launching a coup.
Opponents of Saied challenged him to hold new elections instead of building an "autocratic regime".
The moderate Islamist Ennahdha party, which was the strongest group in the coalition government, has labelled Sunday's power grab a "coup d'etat" while the US, EU and other powers have also voiced strong concern.
Ennahdha on Tuesday challenged the president to call new legislative and presidential elections, warning against any delay that would be "a pretext to maintain an autocratic regime".
Influential civil society groups, including the powerful labour union, warned Saied not to extend extraordinary measures he announced on Sunday beyond a month and called on him to lay out "a participatory roadmap" out of the crisis.
There was no sign of tension in the capital where supporters and opponents of Saied's moves had scuffled on Monday. The streets were calm, with no significant protests or heightened security presence.



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