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John Kerry in Tunisia on surprise visit to show support

Published on Feb 18, 2014 7:43 PM

TUNIS (AFP) - US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Tunisia on Tuesday on an unannounced trip to lend support to the North African country that ignited the Arab Spring three years ago.

Mr Kerry met President Moncef Marzouki and was later to hold talks with newly appointed Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa, who formed a cabinet of independents in January after a months-long political crisis ignited by the killing of two secular politicians.

"We are very impressed by the steps that you have been taking, by the rational, thoughtful approach to the transition," Mr Kerry told Mr Marzouki.

He went on to congratulate Tunisia on its adoption of a new constitution last month that has been widely hailed as the most progressive in the region, calling it a "big step," and said he looked forward to elections planned for later this year.

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