Brussels, 10 March 2011, Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission, made today the following statement:
"I have listened carefully to the announcement made today 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.
Meaningful dialogue should unlock progress on the political, economic and social reforms for which the people of Yemen have been calling.
I remain very concerned at the escalation in the use of force in response to protests in Yemen. Authorities must protect peaceful demonstrators and their right to assemble freely. Violence must stop and all sides must show calm and restraint.
The EU will continue to monitor the situation in Yemen very closely, and stands ready to continue supporting Yemeni efforts to press ahead with reforms.
Source: EUROPEAN UNION