US: Tunisia must respond to youth aspirations

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 13, 2012 at 2:29 pm •  Published: December 13, 2012

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — The top U.S. official for the Middle East urged Tunisia to respond to the aspirations of its young people or face future uprisings.

Deputy Secretary of State William Burns visited Tunisia on Thursday as part of the 9th Forum for the Future, and expressed Washington's support for Tunisia's transition to democracy.

He urged the divided country to rely on negotiation to settle its differences, but warned that young people wanted new reforms and were impatient for results.

Tunisia overthrew its authoritarian president in January 2011, sparking off a string of revolts around the region, known as the Arab Spring. The country has since been plagued by unrest and economic problems as it writes a new constitution.

Burns was standing in for Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who was ill.

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