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Saudi FM says Ben Ali barred from politics while in kingdom

AFP, Wednesday 19 Jan 2011

Ousted Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali has been barred from any political activities related to his country while he shelters in Saudi Arabia, Foreign Minister Saud Al-Faisal said Wednesday.

"This act (of sheltering Ben Ali) should not lead to any kind of activity in Tunisia from the kingdom... There are conditions, and no act in this regard will be allowed," Faisal told Saudi television.

Saudi Arabia has kept a total blackout on Ben Ali's activities since he who landed early on Saturday in the Red Sea city of Jeddah with six members of his family.

In a palace statement, Saudi Arabia said Saturday the move was "out of concern for the exceptional circumstances facing the brotherly Tunisian people and in support of the security and stability of their country."

Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia in disgrace after 23 years of iron-fisted rule following a wave of protests in which dozens of people were killed.

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