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Arab leaders invited to Tunisian revolt anniversary

Algeria's Bouteflika, Qatar's Sheikh Hamad among those invited to one-year anniversary of uprising that triggered 'Arab Spring'

AFP , Thursday 12 Jan 2012
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Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika is among Arab leaders and senior officials invited to Tunis to celebrate the one-year anniversary on Saturday of Tunisia's revolution, a government source said.

The emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, and a senior Moroccan official have also been asked to take part in festivities marking the day that president Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali was ousted, the source said Thursday.

Tunisia's new authorities have yet to release any details of the official celebrations being organised to mark the beginning of what has come to be known as the "Arab Spring" revolutions, which also toppled longstanding rulers in Egypt and Libya.

Ben Ali has been convicted of economic and other crimes by Tunisian courts. He currently lives in exile in Saudi Arabia.

In the central town of Sidi Bouzid, thousands of Tunisians turned out on 17 December to mark the day one year earlier when Mohamed Bouazizi, a 26-year-old street vendor, set himself on fire in an act of defiance that sparked the uprising.

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