Around 300 Tunisians protest ahead of Clinton visit

TUNIS Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:43pm EDT

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attends a news conference with Egypt's Foreign Minister Nabil Elaraby in Cairo March 15, 2011. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attends a news conference with Egypt's Foreign Minister Nabil Elaraby in Cairo March 15, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

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TUNIS (Reuters) - Around 300 Tunisians held a protest in the capital on Wednesday against an imminent visit to their country by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, witnesses said.

The demonstrators gathered in Avenue Bourguiba, the tree-lined boulevard in Tunis which was a focal point of the mass protests that ousted president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali on January 14.

Some of them chanted "No to U.S. meddling in Tunisia's affairs" and "Tunisia free, U.S. out."

A military helicopter buzzed overhead as security forces looked on.

Clinton was in Egypt her first visit there since long-time ally Hosni Mubarak was toppled last month, and was due to arrive in Tunis later on Wednesday.

She is expected to meet Tunisia's interim authorities on Thursday to express her support for the transition to democratic rule.

Washington, like other Western governments, is eager to present itself as a partner to the mass protest movements that swept Mubarak and Ben Ali from power, despite its long support for both authoritarian rulers.

(reporting by Zoubeir Souissi and Tarek Amara; writing by Silvia Aloisi; editing by Giles Elgood)

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Comments (2)
mgunn wrote:
Pathetic, the US wants it both ways. Our populace is too patriotic and ignorant to recognize what the rest of the world already knows, and we’ll just label these protesters as terrorists.

Mar 16, 2011 12:23pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
KimoLee wrote:
A lot of Americans woke up after realizing that Bush lied about the WMD’s in Iraq, using it as an excuse to wage a war against a populace for oil/economic reasons. And they’ve been beating the 9/11 drum ever since, telling Americans the Middle East is out to get us. Well, NOW I know why . . . Our leaders were giving our tax money to horrible repressive regimes, making it “look like” that’s what most Americans want. But A LOT of Americans don’t want that at all. We don’t like hippocracy and lies. We don’t like our tax dollars being given to the rich, whether they are on U.S. soil or in the Middle East. It is long past time American leaders represent America, not corporate America, not the rich, but average, every day Americans that value honesty, integrity, and good old hard work.

Mar 17, 2011 1:23am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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