US doubts Tunisia 'snowball effect' on Arab neighbors

WASHINGTON- The United States voiced doubt Friday that the popular revolt that toppled Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali would spread to other Arab countries, even though they share similar problems.
"I'm not sure that I would say... that necessarily there will be a snowball effect," State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters.

US doubts Tunisia 'snowball effect' on Arab neighbors
"There are certainly broad trends that exist in the region, from the Gulf to North Africa, and leaders need to find ways to create greater economic and political opportunity for populations that are, by and large, very, very young," he said.
He added that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, during a tour of the Gulf last week, "gave a clear and compelling message that the region has to reform itself."
"And certainly we would encourage those reforms to continue, country by country," Crowley said.
"But I'm not sure that every country... is going to follow that same path."
During a visit to Qatar on January 14, Clinton urged Arab leaders to work with their peoples to carry out reforms or see extremists fill the void, warning the region's "foundations are sinking into the sand."

Saturday, January 22nd 2011

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