EU High Representative for foreign affairs and security policy Catherine Ashton has welcomed the Bahraini authorities’ “continued commitment to refrain from the use of force against the peaceful expression of people’s concerns as well as the recent steps toward reconciliation and reform.”
Ashton noted in a statement Thursday night that the EU welcomed the dialogue announced by Bahraini Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa.
“I now strongly encourage the Government of Bahrain to carry on implementing the measures needed to meet the demands and aspirations of the people. I also urge all parties concerned to begin, without further delay, and without exclusions or preconditions, a meaningful and inclusive national dialogue,” she added.
In a separate statement, Ashton also welcomed the announcement made Thursday by Yemeni President Ali-Abdullah Saleh, in which he made proposals for constitutional reform and elections.
“I see this announcement as a step forward, and call on all parties to engage without delay in an open and constructive dialogue, so that proposals are translated as soon as possible into concrete steps to respond to the demands of the people,” she said in a statement.
But Ashton expressed her concern “at the escalation in the use of force in response to protests in Yemen,” and said authorities must protect peaceful demonstrators and their right to assemble freely.
In another statement on Egypt, Ashton said she “deeply concerned about the rising sectarian violence in Egypt in recent days.”
She called on the Egyptian authorities to take all the necessary measures to ensure the security and protection of Egyptian citizens and bring those responsible to justice.