[Diocese of Egypt] At the beginning of Ramadan, Bishop Bill Musk joined the Roman Catholic archbishop, the Russian Orthodox priest and the Jewish rabbi to break the fast with President Moncef Marzouki of Tunisia. The President was solicitous of the felt-needs of minorities in the country and insistent that the new Constitution will guarantee freedom of worship and association in Tunisia. He was very upbeat about the political process, if somewhat less positive about the economic prospects and some aspects of the security situation in the country.
Less than a week later, a second opposition politician was gunned down (evidently by members of an extremist Islamist cadre) and major clashes emerged in the mountains in the west of the country between the army and extreme Islamist groups. The people came out on the streets and opposition groups left the fragile coalition. A new roadmap towards agreement on a nearlycompleted Constitution plus the appointment of technocrats to temporary leadership of government ministries may provide the possibility to inch this nation towards national elections at the end of this year/beginning of 2014. We pray and hope for new, consensus-based national leadership here – as for Egypt and Libya.