News / Africa

French, Tunisian Leaders Express Dismay Over Morsi Ouster

Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki , right, addresses reporters during a joint press conference with French President Francois Hollande, left, Carthage, Tunisia, July 4, 2013.Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki , right, addresses reporters during a joint press conference with French President Francois Hollande, left, Carthage, Tunisia, July 4, 2013.
x
Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki , right, addresses reporters during a joint press conference with French President Francois Hollande, left, Carthage, Tunisia, July 4, 2013.
Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki , right, addresses reporters during a joint press conference with French President Francois Hollande, left, Carthage, Tunisia, July 4, 2013.
Lisa Bryant
— French President Francois Hollande and Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki are expressing alarm at the ouster of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.
 
At a joint press conference Thursday in Tunis, Hollande described the unfolding crisis in Egypt as a "failure" for the country's democratic transition, while Marzouki expressed regret at the intervention of armed forces.
 
Their remarks echoed concerns expressed around the world after the militarily-backed removal of the democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood leader.
 
Hollande's visit is the first by a sitting French president since Tunisia's 2011 revolution, the popular revolt that inspired similar uprisings across the Arab world, starting with Egypt. He called on Egyptian army officials to organize free, pluralistic and fair elections as soon as possible.
 
Both presidents dismissed the idea that Egypt's crisis could spread to Tunisia.
 
"Unlike Egypt," Marzouki said, "Tunisia is not split into warring parties. Tunisia's government aims to be inclusive, and there is dialogue among parties."
 
Like Egypt, Tunisia's transition to democracy has been bumpy and marred by social protests and concerns over free-speech. Also like Egypt, Tunisia's government is dominated by Islamists -- notably the moderate Ennahda party.
 
Marzouki, member of a secular party in the coalition government, added that Tunisians know the roadmap ahead, referring to a new constitution and elections slated to be held by year's end.
 
Analysts weigh in

Amna Guellali of Human Rights Watch says the Muslim Brotherhood's abrupt fall in Egypt may impact Tunisian politics.
 
"We didn't have, as in Egypt, a kind of autocratic turn after the elections," said the Tunis-based researcher. "It's not the same scenario really, but still I think it will have quite an impact on Ennahda's dealings with the opposition, and also the constitution drafting ... especially when it comes to the definition of the position of Islam in the new constitution, and how this affects rights and freedoms."
 
For political science professor and Tunisia observer Steven Ekovich, Tunis's Ennahda is markedly different from Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood.
 
"The big difference between Egypt and Tunisia is that, all along now, Ennahda has been compromising," he said. "Morsi was not compromising."
 
Egypt's armed forces, he added, has long been a powerful, national player with entrenched economic interests, which poses another key difference when compared to Tunisia.
 
"Tunisians have a lot of trust in their army, and they know their army is independent," he said, calling it historically absent from the national political scene. "Tunisians not only trust their army, I could almost say they love their army."
 
Hollande's visit comes as Tunisia faces deep economic problems. Unemployment is high and its key tourism sector is struggling.
 
The French president signed a number of cooperation agreements, and vowed France would be at Tunisia's side.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid