WASHINGTON, Nov. 11 (UPI) -- Despite potential problems with some emerging democracies in the Middle East, Washington scheduled an investment for Tunisian opportunities next week.
A protest suicide in December sparked the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia, which ushered in the so-called Arab Spring that toppled or threatened long-standing regimes in the Middle East and North Africa.
Most of the eligible voters in Tunisia turned out for October elections to pick members for the post-revolution Parliament. Moderate Islamist group Ennahda won the vote, taking the plurality of the seats in the 217-member Parliament.
Catherine Ashton, Europe's foreign policy chief, said after the vote that a European team was in Tunis exploring financial options for the country.
Regimes in Yemen and Syria continue to repress the opposition while U.N. officials have expressed concern about the post-revolution political situation in Egypt.
Washington in September, however, signed an economic partnership agreement with Tunisian authorities. Next week, the U.S. State Department said, high-ranking delegates will convene in Washington for a one-day Tunisian investment conference.
Edward M. Gabriel, former U.S. ambassador to Morocco, in a statement, said that while there was an "underside" to the Arab Spring, there were also significant opportunities.
"The Arab Spring has created opportunities to achieve changes that will break down old barriers to cooperation and give the region the much needed chance at economic development and political reform," he said.