Hope for Mideast democracy survives conference failure

04/19/2004
Hope for democracy lingers in the Middle East despite the late-March collapse of an Arab summit on the subject.Tunisia canceled the Arab League conference scheduled to begin Mar. 29 in Tunis, citing dissension among members.The summit was to have covered proposals for democratic reform and renewal of an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.Discussion of the peace plan was destined to be difficult after Israel's Mar. 22 assassination of Ahmed Yassin, founder of the militant group Hamas.But reform proposals were controversial, too. A leaked US plan for Middle Eastern democracy elicited protests from Arab League members saying change shouldn't come from abroad.A Tunisian official told BBC ...
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