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April 19, 2014

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Kerry in Tunisia to laud post-revolution reforms

Updated Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014 | 3:19 a.m.

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Tunisia to offer continued American assistance to the North African nation where uprisings that toppled authoritarian leaders around the Arab world first ignited in 2011.

In meetings Tuesday with Tunisian authorities, U.S. officials said Kerry would urge a cementing of democratic reforms enshrined in a new constitution that was formally adopted earlier this month.

The charter — agreed to after a laborious and often turbulent two-year drafting process — has been hailed as one of the most progressive constitutions in the Arab world. A compromise between liberals and Islamists, it guarantees freedom of religion and women's rights.

Kerry made the unannounced stop in Tunis as he flew from Abu Dhabi to Paris for a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.