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Tunisian president calls for Morsi's release and the opening of Gaza crossings

President Moncef Marzouki of Tunisia has called on the Egyptian authorities to release ousted President Mohammed Morsi and all political detainees. He also called for the Rafah Border Crossing with Gaza to be reopened forthwith.


Speaking at the UN General Assembly, Marzouki said that the release of Morsi and the political detainees would be a courageous initiative but it would definitely defuse the anger in society and bring an end to the violence. He stressed that this would also encourage all parties to return to dialogue for the good of Egypt.

Commenting on the strict siege of the Gaza Strip, the Tunisian president called for an end to the suffering of the Palestinians by opening the crossings and allowing goods and people to facilitate normal daily life in the besieged territory. It is clear that Marzouki was directing his comments towards the Egyptians: "It is enough that the Palestinian people are suffering under the Zionist occupation," he said.

Tunisia, he added in a speech which covered the major issues in the region, supports a political solution to the crisis in Syria. He asked the international community to support his country's initiative for the establishment of an international constitutional court which will protect people from dictatorships.

"Can you imagine if such a court as able to issue a ruling that nullified the election of Bashar Al-Assad because it was against the right of the people to choose their ruler through free and transparent elections?" he asked.

President Marzouki was a human rights activist before the Tunisian revolution which toppled the country's dictator in 2011. He said that although what is going on in the Arab Spring countries is sometime thought to be a nightmare, the people will never again allow themselves to be oppressed by dictators.

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