South Asia Center Senior Fellow Barbara Slavin covers Tunisian political leader Rachid Ghannouchi’s visit to Washington for Al Monitor:

For a Washington eager to find a ray of hope within the post-Arab Spring’s gloom, the visit here this week of Rachid Ghannouchi, leader of the moderate Islamist Ennahda party of Tunisia, has been extremely welcome.

The avuncular Ghannouchi, in appearances at a half dozen Washington think tanks, has radiated optimism about Tunisia’s path toward democracy, based on consensus between the Islamist and secular elements of the political elite. In turn, he has been compared to an Arab “Mandela,” Vaclav Havel or even Thomas Jefferson, who could serve as a model and mediator elsewhere in the Middle East.

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