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France drags heels to help Tunisia

France, slow to express support for the Tunisian demonstrators who overthrew its longtime ally, President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, is moving to try to pick up the pieces in a country where Paris has deep economic, personal and historical ties.

France has misread Tunisia for years, not just in recent weeks, said Jacques Lanxade, a retired admiral, former military chief of staff and former ambassador to Tunis in the late 1990s.


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