* Tunisia has chance to provide positive example
* U.S. offers military training to secure elections
* Much work ahead to prepare elections - Turkey
(Recasts with McCain, Lieberman comments)
By Tarek Amara
TUNIS, Feb 21 Washington has offered Tunisia
help in shoring up security following its "model" revolution,
U.S. Senator John McCain said on Monday.
A popular uprising in the North African state last month
ended President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali's 23 years of rule,
sending shock waves through the Arab world and inspiring further
revolts, one of which toppled Egypt's president 10 days ago.
"The revolution in Tunisia has been very successful and it
has become a model for the region," McCain, the leading
Republican on the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee, told
Reuters after meetings with Tunisian government officials.
"We stand ready to provide training to help Tunisia's
military to provide security," he said.
Elections to replace Ben Ali are expected by July or August.
But new protests have erupted in recent days against the interim
government tasked with organising the vote for failing to
address rising crime rates and lingering poverty.
Tunisia's ouster of Ben Ali -- widely seen as a repressive
ruler who raided state coffers -- inspired Egypt's uprising and
has also encouraged mass demonstrations elsewhere in the Arab
world, including in neighbouring Libya where scores of people
have been shot dead by security forces.
U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman, traveling with McCain, said the
situation in Libya was "tragic".
"The Tunisian military played a constructive role (...) but
the military in Libya has been against the people," Lieberman
told Reuters. "That is unacceptable."
GROWTH AT STAKE
Earlier on Monday, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu
told a press briefing that Tunisia had a chance to provide a
positive model for other countries seeking reform if it can
avoid pitfalls on the path to elections.
He said the interim government needed to make constitutional
changes and set up institutions to ensure the rule of law for
the election to ensure that it passes smoothly.
"We moved into a multi-party system in Turkey in 1946 and
our first elections were in 1950," he said. "In Tunisia, there
are risks because everything is happening so fast."
Davutoglu, who is also the current president of the Council
of Europe, was in Tunisia along with council Secretary General
Thorbjorn Jagland for a meeting with Prime Minister Mohamed
Ghannouchi. Jagland said Tunisia's ability to set smooth
elections was crucial for its trade ties with Europe.
"It is very important that these processes are entertained
in a way that everybody in this society can believe in and have
trust in," he said. "This is the only way to come closer to
Europe and to form the basis of any economic progress," he told
reporters after the meeting.
Ghannouchi said he was happy with international support for