27 July 2011
BRUSSELS — Yemen must launch a ‘credible’ transition plan and all sides in the political crisis should reject violence, the EU’s chief diplomat said Wednesday after talks with the Yemeni foreign minister.
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton urged the government to work with all parties in Yemen to ‘immediately take forward’ a political transition after six months of anti-government protests.
‘Individual and party differences must be set aside in favour of the broader interests of the Yemeni nation,’ Ashton said after talks in Brussels on Tuesday with Foreign Minister Abu Bakr Al Kurbi.
A plan by the Gulf Cooperation Council, which calls for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to cede power within 30 days in return for immunity from prosecution, paving the way for elections, is still the key point of reference for transition, she said.
‘I asked the foreign minister to transmit this message to the President of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh, who is currently recuperating from a deplorable attack on his palace compound,’ Ashton said.
‘I have also made clear that the Yemeni people can no longer be subjected to the current political, economic and humanitarian crisis afflicting Yemen, which also has serious regional and international implications,’ she said.
Saleh has been in hospital in Saudi Arabia since early June for wounds sustained in a blast at his palace. Protesters have demanded the veteran leader’s ouster since January.
‘I urge all sides in Yemen to reject violence and show restraint. By activating a credible plan for transition, the government could unlock the potential for significant international assistance to Yemen,’ Ashton said.