Tunisian example requires security preparations: Netanyahu

Saleh Naami in Gaza, Sunday 16 Jan 2011

Concerned with the recent mass protests and instability, Israel sees in Tunisia and Lebanon lessons for its future dealings with Arab countries

Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu said that the main conclusions his government has drawn from Tunisia's situation revolve around security preparations in case of any settlement reached with the Arabs and Palestinians.

He added, in a statement made during a Knesset session on Sunday morning, that what is happening in Lebanon indicates the region is unstable and Israel therefore must be on high alert in any future negotiations with the Arabs.

The transformations the Arab world is undergoing and the new systems replacing the old stir fears that the new regimes might not respect agreements signed by their predecessors, Netanyahu claimed.

Israel then must take care and insist that any settlement be accompanied by security preparations to avoid any surprises.

The country's Tunisian born deputy prime minister, Silvan Shalom, hoped the international community would intervene to prevent the Islamists from gaining control over Tunis after Ben Ali was ousted.

Israeli website Ynet quoted Shalom saying, "Tunisia had always had good relations with the west, and had embarked on a moderate path, we hope it proceeds along the same path."

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