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    Syria ‘Serious Threat’ to Middle East - Tunisian PM

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    The situation in Syria poses a serious threat to the entire Middle East region, Tunisian Prime Minister Ali Laarayedh said on Monday.

    MOSCOW, May 27 (RIA Novosti) – The situation in Syria poses a serious threat to the entire Middle East region, Tunisian Prime Minister Ali Laarayedh said on Monday.

    “I’ve been shocked by the death toll and the scale of destruction in Syria. We can see how dangerous this situation is for the future of Syria as well as for the region as a whole,” he said in an interview with Golos Rossii (Voice of Russia) radio.

    Tunisia will support any initiative to stop the civil war, he said, including the idea of holding an international conference on Syria proposed by Russia and the United States.

    “At the very least, some interim solution needs to be found in order to stop the bloodshed,” he said.

    “As a result, democratic changes should take place in Syria, and the demands made by the people should be met,” the Tunisian prime minister said.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry announced plans for the conference after talks in Moscow on May 7. Numerous international organizations, including NATO, the United Nations and the European Union have expressed their support for the initiative.

    The Syrian government has confirmed its readiness to take part in the conference, which is expected to be held next month, though a date has not yet been announced. Some Syrian opposition groups have also said they are ready to send their representatives, while others insist on President Bashar Assad’s resignation as a precondition for the talks.

    Middle East experts have warned that Islamist forces coming to power in “Arab Spring” countries could provoke a fresh wave of protests and lead to civil wars.

    If Islamists come to power in Syria, it will divide the country, Basma Qodmani, a member of the opposition Syria National Council in 2011-12, told a meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club earlier this month.

    Syria has been locked in an increasingly bloody civil war since demonstrations broke out against the Assad regime in March 2011. According to UN estimates, at least 80,000 people have been killed in the conflict.

    Tags:
    NATO, European Union, Ali Laarayedh, John Kerry, Sergei Lavrov, Tunisia, Bashar al-Assad
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