Tunisian President Urges E.c. to Step Up Pressure on Israel

In a speech before the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Tunisian President Zin al-Abidine Ben Ali urged the international community to pressure Israel into stopping its “colonization of the occupied territories.”

Ben Ali also urged members of the parliament to “recognize Palestinian people’s legitimate rights.”

“The international community, and notably the United States and Russia, must force Israel to stop building colonies, to end its acts of provocation and to respond positively to the peace efforts,” Ben Ali said during the parliament’s monthly session.

He said “peace is impossible without respecting international legality toward all the Arab occupied territories, including the city of Jerusalem.”

Speaking about the relations between the Arab countries of North Africa and the European Community, the Tunisian president suggested drawing up an agreement between the two sides “to help solve the difficulties of integration of North African immigrants in Europe.”

“The best and most efficient way to cope with the issue of integration is to make a better effort to solve development problems in the countries of origin,” said Ben Ali, who currently chairs the Union of Arab Maghreb countries, which includes Tunisia, Morocco, Libya, Algeria and Mauritania.

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