Tunisia government decides to lift party bans: ministers

TUNIS (Reuters) - Tunisia’s government has decided to grant recognition to all banned political groups and adopt an amnesty for all political prisoners, ministers said after a cabinet meeting on Thursday.

“We are in agreement for a general amnesty,” said Higher Education Minister Ahmed Ibrahim, an opposition party leader who joined the coalition government after the ousting of president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.

“This meeting was historic. We were completely in agreement.” Asked if the amnesty would include people jailed for membership of banned Islamist movement Ennahda, he told Reuters: “Yes, of course, everybody will be part of this amnesty.”

Youth Minister Mohamed Aloulou, when asked if the government had also decided to lift a ban on political movements including Ennahda, said: “Yes, we are in complete agreement. We are not going back ... We will recognize all the political movements.”

Reporting by Tarek Amara; Writing by Christian Lowe; Editing by Alison Williams