Ashton calls for dialogue to form new gov't in Egypt

EU foreign policy chief says she respects Mubarak's decision to step down; pledges EU support in orderly transition to democracy.

Catherine Ashton 311 (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Catherine Ashton 311
(photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton on Friday said she respects Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's decision to resign and called for dialogue to form a broad-based government, Reuters reported.
Ashton stated that the European Union shares the Egyptian peoples desire for an orderly transition to a democratic government and free elections.
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Earlier on Friday, EU leaders renewed calls for a new government in Egypt, after Mubarak's Thursday avowal to remain in power despite massive pro-democracy protests.
Ashton said Mubarak's defiant speech late Thursday "has not yet opened the way to faster and deeper reforms."
"An orderly and irreversible transition towards democracy and free and fair elections is the shared objective of both the EU and the Egyptian people," Ashton said in a statement. "The lifting of the state of emergency ... must be implemented as soon as possible."
EU Parliament President Jerzy Buzek said Friday that "a new government including all democratic forces is crucial for this transition."
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