December 22, 2011
EU chief diplomat Catherine Ashton told Yemeni Vice President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi on Thursday that his country's democratic transition must be inclusive in order to succeed.
Ashton said she called Hadi to underline her "firm support" for his efforts after veteran President Ail Abdullah Saleh agreed last month to hand over power to his deputy following February elections.
"I confirmed the EU's continued support to Yemen and to a Yemeni-led, inclusive and democratic transition process on the basis of a sustainable national consensus," she said in a statement.
"I assured the vice president that we will stand by him in his efforts towards a better future based on democracy, justice and human rights," she said.
"I also underlined the EU's view that to succeed, the transition process must be inclusive: we discussed how best to reach out to the large numbers of unemployed young people, the youth movements and other groups."
A national unity government, headed by the opposition, was sworn in earlier this month to lead a three-month transition period until early polls are held and Saleh formally steps down.
After the February elections, Hadi will take over the presidency for an interim two-year period under a Gulf-sponsored deal drafted to resolve Yemen's political crisis.