Clinton Meets Tunisian Minister

Washington, Sep 22 (IANS): US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has met Tunisian Foreign Minister Rafik Abdesslem in Washington amid a wave of anti-US protests in the Arab world that was ignited by a movie that allegedly insults Islam.

Clinton thanked the government of Tunisia for helping secure the US embassy amid the recent protests. She said Washington was "monitoring events closely", Xinhua reported.

Stressing America's priority to protect its diplomats, Clinton urged all governments to stick to their duty to defend foreign diplomatic missions.

"They must be safe and protected places so that governments can exchange views and work on many important issues, and leaders across the world must stand up and be counted in rejecting violence and holding violent actors accountable," the Secretary of State was quoted as saying.

Abdesslem expressed "regret and full and strong condemnation" for the storming of the US embassy in Tunisia last week.

He said the Tunisian authorities have taken necessary measures to protect the US embassy and other American interests in the country.

Abdesslem said he believed his government has the ability to protect all private and public institutions in Tunisia.

Anti-American protests broke out in the Arab world recently over a movie that allegedly insults Prophet Mohammed.


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