UK to step up calls for reforms throughout Middle East


London : The British government is to step up calls for political reforms throughout the Middle East in the wake of the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, Foreign Secretary William Hague announced Thursday.

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“This whole situation that has arisen in Egypt and Tunisia underlines the need for effective economic development in Middle East and for more open and flexible political systems, something we in Britain has called for a long time,” Hague said.

“We will step up out call for that in the coming weeks and months our real grievances that governments need to respond to,” he said in his latest video blog.

Hague also referred to his recent visit to Syria and the Middle East peace process, which he said was Britain’s “other great concern.”

He also repeated his call on the Egyptian government to address the grievances of the Egyptian people and to begin an orderly transition to free and fair elections, adding that the UK is “disappointed that the new cabinet didn’t signal sufficient change.”

Earlier Prime Minister David Cameron joined the leaders of the French, German, Italian and Spanish governments in issuing an unprecedented statement calling for a ‘quick” transition in Egyptian but stop short in calling for President Hosni Mubarak to resign.

In parliament on Wednesday, Foreign Office Minister Lord Howell said that the British government was also closely monitoring “what is obviously a very fluid and evolving situation” in Jordan.

“We will have to see how things turn out in Jordan and whether there is a similar pattern to what we have seen in Tunisia and Egypt in recent days,” said Foreign Office Minister Lord Howell.

“It is early days, and each country of course has its completely different and separate qualities and patterns of events, which may affect the outcome in different ways,” he said.

“It is important that Jordan continues its programme of political and economic reform, and we will work with the Jordanian Government to support that goal,” the minister further said.