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Arab officials praise Arab spring but acknowledge continuing problems

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The prime ministers of Morocco, Libya, Egypt, Palestine and Lebanon in front of the World Economic Forum

The prime ministers of Morocco, Libya, Egypt, Palestine and Lebanon in front of the World Economic Forum

(with photo) DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan 26 (KUNA) — Prime ministers of Arab states have affirmed significance of the “Arab spring” events in struggle to attain liberties and democracy but caution that enormous challenges remain ahead on this path.
Dr. Hisham Qandil, the Prime Minister of Egypt, addressing the World Economic Forum, late on Friday, said “Egypt has inherited heavy economic burden full of problems and challenges, and this requires balance between goals of the revolution and factual conditions.
“There are exaggerated aspirations as a result of the Arab spring and that is expected.” He was alluding to the January 25, 2011, revolution that ousted the regime of Hosni Mubarak. A wave of subsequent developments ended with the Islamic Brotherhood taking the helm of power. However, the nation continued to witness protests by the opposition, mainly grouping left-wing, national and liberal forces.
The opposition accuses President Mohammad Morsi, of the Brotherhood, of failing to tackle the ailing national economy and tackling diverse social and living problems.
Qandil affirmed that the Egyptians’ views and perspectives as to best avenues to be taken for reforms and establishing democracy are divergent, noting that the trasnformation process in his country would take some time.
“The Egyptian people will never accept comeback of any form of dictatorship and they know the means to oust any dictator,” he stressed.
For his part, Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zaidan, who acknowledged that the government would have to tackle a long file of problems and challenges, denied reports that it was not in control of the country. He also denied substantial existence of the notorious group, Al-Qaida, in his country.
Libya had also witnessed a public revolt that brought down the regime of Col. Moammar Gadhafi, following bitter and prolonged fighting.
Abdelilah Benkirane, the premier of Morocco, said his nation experienced a unique transformational process, two years ago, “through renewal of the constitution, holding free elections that ended with naming a figure of the opposition as premier, for the first time, with confidence of the people and parliament.” Benkirane confirmed that his nation has been witnessing political and rhetorical bickering among the political forces, and noted that such political struggles were free of blood-spilling. “The democratic scene in Morocco is witnessing activities .. and some of its forms has been social dialogue and criticisms of the government,” he confirmed.
He, along with the other Arab premiers, criticized western claims that the Arab spring events resulted in limiting freedoms of women, particularly with the “Islamists’ ascending to power.” (end) ta.rk KUNA 261011 Jan 13NNNN


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