UK pledges support for political and economic reform in Middle East

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The UK Prime Minister announced today further UK support for economic and political reform in the Middle East and North Africa.

Commenting on today’s annoucement, which will see the ‘Arab Partnership’ package expanded to £110m, Foreign Secretary William Hague said:

“This is a crucial moment for the people of the Middle East and North Africa and the UK will rise to the challenge of meeting our responsibility to support them. It is for governments to respond to their people’s legitimate calls for change and we are clear that these are Arab revolutions and leadership for reform must come from within countries.

But we have also been clear that we must stand up for those values we believe in and ensure those seeking change can deliver real and irreversible reform. That is what we are doing through the UK’s Arab Partnership. It is our pledge of support to the reformers of the Middle East and North Africa”.

 

International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell said:

“Today’s announcement of a new UK Arab Partnership recognises that poverty and disenfranchisement are the major drivers of the demand for change. It helps to address key grievances, providing people with better education and economic opportunities and improved access to global markets, working with close partners in the region such as the African and Islamic Development Banks.

“We know that economic transformation alone without real political change, which gives people a voice, dignity, security and justice, won’t work. And that is why we will focus on the twin tracks of economic and political reform. This new UK support is for a change for the better in the region. It will help countries to get back onto their feet, and allow people to look forward to a brighter, peaceful, more prosperous future.”