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Tunisian minister: Egypt must chart its own path

 Tunisian Foreign Minister Ahmed Ounis reacts during an interview with Associated Press Television News in Tunis, Saturday, Jan 29, 2011. Tunisia's pr...

Tunisia

Tunisian Foreign Minister Ahmed Ounis reacts during an interview with Associated Press Television News in Tunis, Saturday, Jan 29, 2011. Tunisia's pr...

Tunisia's new foreign minister says his country isn't going to lecture Egyptians on what path their country should take, following this week's anti-government protests.
The two Arab countries are different and must each chart their own course, Ahmed Ounaies told The Associated Press in an interview Saturday. Tunisia's protests toppled the country's longtime autocratic leader two weeks ago, while Egypt remains in chaos amid the biggest anti-government protests ever faced by the regime of President Hosni Mubarak.
"It is up to the Egyptian people to decide their present and their future for themselves," Ounaies, a career diplomat and a political independent, said. "We are not going to decide on their behalf or give them any lessons."
Violent protests in Tunisia led to the ouster of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who fled to Saudi Arabia on Jan. 14 after 23 years in power. Ounaies, a political independent, was named to the interim government Thursday in a shuffle that dropped most of Ben Ali's old guard from the lineup.
Only three ministers in the current caretaker government have roots in Ben Ali's RCD party, compared to 10 in the previous, short-lived Cabinet that was formed soon after Ben Ali's ouster. Protesters continued even after Ben Ali's departure, with demonstrators angry that the old guard had retained those posts of power.
The unrest has calmed but has not entirely died out. After sunset, about a hundred youths skirmished with police in the capital, throwing rocks. Police retorted with tear gas.
Tunisia has issued an arrest warrant for its former leader, accusing him of charges including taking money out of the country illegally. Ounaies said that while those accused of wrongdoing in the old regime will face justice, "we are not out to politically lynch or persecute anyone."


Updated : 2021-02-25 05:19 GMT+08:00