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France backs Tunisia as 'model'

France's president told Tunisia on Friday it was heading in the right direction, drawing a positive contrast with countries like Libya and Egypt. President Francois Hollande said Paris would provide 500 million euros ($645 million)in loans and grants to support the North African state. Sixty million euros of Tunisian debt would also be converted into investment projects. Tunisia's democratic transition was "a model in the region", Hollande said. "You are heading in the right direction. In Libya the transition has been tainted by violence; in Egypt the transition was stopped after the removal of the elected president; and in Syria, desire for change led to war", he added.

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