Posted: Oct 25, 2013 10:11 AM
Updated: Oct 25, 2013 10:12 AM
TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) Tunisia's long delayed national dialogue to set up a new government has finally begun with both sides expressing optimism about the outcome.
Since the assassination of a left-wing politician in July, the country has been paralyzed, with the opposition demanding that the elected government resign.
After months of mediation and false starts, the Islamist-led governing coalition and the opposition sat down Friday to negotiate a new government of technocrats.
Just before the talks began Prime Minister Ali Larayedh met a key opposition demand by issuing a written statement promising to dissolve the government in three weeks. Opposition deputies then promised to complete the writing of the constitution and organizing new elections in the next three weeks.
Tunisia was the birthplace of the Arab Spring.