WASHINGTON — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Tuesday she is "encouraged" by what she sees as moves in Tunisia toward inclusive elections as soon as possible.
Clinton gave her assessment after having spoken with Tunisian Foreign Minister Kamel Morjane and Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi, the interim Tunisian leader.
"I'm encouraged by the direction that they are setting towards inclusive elections that will be held as soon as practicable," the chief US diplomat said during a press conference with Spanish Foreign Minister Trinidad Jimenez.
"But there's a long way to go. As the minister and I were discussing, there's no experience, there's no institutional muscle memory about how you do this," Clinton said.
"And therefore Spain, United States, European Union, United Nations, other organizations around the world that want to see the transition successful and leading to a democratic, vibrant outcome are offering whatever help we can," she said.
Assistant Secretary of State Jeffrey Feltman, the top-ranking US official on the Middle East who is visiting Tunis this week to press for democratic reforms and new elections, said Washington was ready to offer support following the ouster of president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
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