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‘Britain supports changes in Middle East, North Africa’
British Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister, Alistair Burt has said that the current year would be remembered for political changes in the Arab world and Britain would continue its support to the people’s aspirations and establishment of democratic set up.
He was speaking at Eid-al-Fitr reception held in the Foreign and Commonwealth office here the other day. He said 2011 is important for political changes of historical importance in the Middle East and North Africa.
This year the people of Benghazi celebrated Eid with their freedom while People of Tunisia would for the first time exercise their right to vote on October 23. This year the people of the region found their constitutional rights which they had been demanding for the last many decades in order to establish such an open society that guaranteed supremacy of law, access to justice, political freedom and economic development opportunities for all without any discrimination, he further added.
Burt said, “the coming generation would definitely benefit from these changes. The revolutionary changes in the Arab world were not the result of any foreign intervention but the voice of the people of the region and Prime Minster David Cameron has put it that democracy in the region is not just an even but a long process. British role was important in the backdrop of respect for democratic values and reforms, he added. £110m had been set aside for political and economic reforms in the region while in Jordan, Egypt and Tunisia vocational training was being imparted to the people through the British Council, he further informed.”
He told the audience that “Britain is providing all possible assistance to hold free and fair elections in Tunisia and is also providing technical assistance to Egypt and Tunisia to Anti Corruption departments. He said last year the Eid reception was dampened by the unprecedented floods in Pakistan and everybody was trying to extend some kind of help to the victims; unfortunately this year to the Sindh province had been stuck by floods. He said the role of Muslim community was important in the development of British society whose suggestion were important in policy making and resolution of problems.
The reception was attended among others by Country Manager Islamic Relief Jehangir Malik, Chairman Muslim Aid Sir Iqbal Sacranie, CEO Sharafuddin, Liaison Officer Wilayet Khokar, Spokesperson South Asia FCO, Natasha Khan, Allama Ghulam Rabbani Afghani and others.