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Germany calls for 'dialogue' in crisis-hit Tunisia

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Germany's foreign minister on Wednesday called for squabbling factions in Tunisia to come together "in a spirit of dialogue" after Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali resigned amid a political crisis.

Guido Westerwelle said in a statement that Berlin was "very closely watching" the situation in the North African country "in these critical days for its democratic development."

Expressing his "respect" for Jebali, Westerwelle said: "I call on all political forces to come together in a spirit of dialogue and heal the rifts that are currently dividing the country."

Jebali stepped down on Tuesday after failing to form a non-partisan government to end a political emergency made worse by the assassination of a senior opposition figure.

As well as the row over the new government, there is also deadlock over the drafting of a constitution, with parliament split over the nature of Tunisia's future political system 15 months after it was elected.

Westerwelle said he wanted to "expressly praise" all those who were doing their best to push through a democratic transition in Tunisia after the country's uprising two years ago to oust dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130220/germany-calls-dialogue-crisis-hit-tunisia