White House: Tunisians have 'right to choose their leaders'

AFP, Friday 14 Jan 2011

The Tunisian people "have the right to choose their leaders," the White House said Friday, reacting to reports that embattled President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali had left the country.

National Security Council spokesman Mike Hammer said the White House had seen the reports that Ben Ali had left Tunisia.
"We believe the Tunisian people have the right to choose their leaders, and will monitor this latest development closely," he said.

Earlier Hammer condemned the violence against civilians in Tunisia and called on the "authorities to fulfill the important commitments made by President Ben Ali in his speech yesterday to the Tunisian people, including respect for basic human rights and a process of much-needed political reform."

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