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Abbas meets Tunisian president

Jan. 15, 2013 11:02 A.M. (Updated: Jan. 16, 2013 7:43 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- President Mahmoud Abbas met with his Tunisian counterpart on Monday in the North African nation's capital, a statement from the presidential office said.

Abbas discussed the Palestinian Authority's financial crisis and Israeli economic sanctions after the United Nations granted de facto statehood to Palestine in November, adding that he hopes Arab states will be able to fulfill their financial commitments to the PA.

Abbas congratulated Tunisian president Moncef Marzouki on the second anniversary of Tunisia's historic revolution to oust Ben Ali from power, wishing the country peace and security.

"The Tunisian people were and will always be with you despite the difficulties. We are following up with what's happening in Palestine and we know all the difficulties the state is passing through," Marzouki told Abbas.

Tunisians rose up against Ben Ali after street peddler Mohamed Bouazizi set fire to himself in despair at the confiscation of his fruit cart in the town of Sidi Bouzid in December 2010.

The incident led to popular protests across much of the Arab world, ousting or challenging entrenched rulers in Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain and Syria, where fighting still continues.
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