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Diplomat chides EU support of dictators

Diplomat chides EU support of dictators
(L-R) Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev, US President Barack Obama, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, African Union President Libyan Leader Moammar Gadhafi and Angolan President JosŽ Eduardo dos Santos are shown on the last working day of the G8 (Group of Eight) Summit in L'Aquila, Italy on July 10, 2009, before unveiling the plaque commemorating the earthquake in the main square of the Guardia di Finanza Inspectors' School where the Summit was held. (UPI Photo/Ettore Ferrari/G8Website) | License Photo

BRUSSELS, March 1 (UPI) -- A former Czech diplomat has told the European Parliament Europe's defense of human rights and democratic forces in North Africa wasn't loud enough.

EU Commissioner Stefan Fuele apologized for Europe's history of support for dictators in the region and said the EU should be standing with pro-democracy demonstrators, the EUobserver reported Tuesday.

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"It is with them, and for them, that we must work today -- not with dictators who are, as we speak, spilling the blood of their own people with utter disregard for human life," Fuele told MEPs.

He said that Europe must support democratic transition in North Africa the same way it supported the revolutions in Eastern Europe in 1989.

"We know that the forces of change that have been unleashed will not produce stable political systems overnight," Fuele said, adding that Europe's long-term common objective should be a "democratic, stable, prosperous and peaceful North Africa."

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