Democracy key to Arab stability: Palestinian PM

4th February 2011, Comments 0 comments

Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad said Friday that democracy and good governance were the key to stability in the Arab world, and the West would be mistaken in not encouraging them.

"Impeding political evolution is not stability, this is fragility," he said in a debate on building a Palestinian state at the International Diplomatic Academy in Paris when asked about the chaos in Egypt.

"What is good for you is good for us. If political plurality, good governance are good for the US and the rest of the world, it should be good for Arabs," he added.

"This is a call for uniform standards."

Western governments and especially Egypt's neighbour Israel have expressed concern at the possible consequences of the fall of authoritarian Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, previously seen as a bulwark against radical Islam.

"A system which is genuinely democcratic and where government is seen as respectful of the people is in a much better position to ask people for things to do," Fayyad said.

"In the long term, better functioning and accounting institutions of government, elections with regularity and in an open and transparent way ... lead to a better business environment and less uncertainty," he added.

Fayyad arrived in France on Thursday on his first official visit as head of the Palestinian government.

© 2011 AFP

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