Following meetings today with the president of Tunisia and other senior leaders of major Tunisian political parties, U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, made the following statement regarding the resignation of Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali.
"The United States strongly supports the people of Tunisia and their desire to form a constitutional republic based on the core values of democracy and political and religious freedom that our two nations share. Democracy can be fragile, particularly when it is first being established," said Corker. "Recent events in Tunisia, including the assassination of Chokri Belaid and the resignation of the prime minister are unfortunate.
"Building a democracy takes time and care, smart, engaged leaders who are committed to freedom and human rights, and a strong and unwavering commitment to keeping peace and order in a time of crisis, as well as a commitment to a peaceful transition of power. It is clear to me that many of those I have met with are committed to these goals. I am very hopeful that Tunisia will be able to resolve the current situation peacefully and move on to complete the drafting and adoption of a new constitution, as well as free and fair elections within the next year."
Since Friday, Corker has been on a congressional fact-finding trip in North and West Africa, visiting key countries and foreign leaders, including the president of Tunisia and other party leaders. The focus of Corker's trip is counter-terrorism and the political changes taking place in the region.