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U.S. ambassador says Yemeni president's initiative

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The U.S. ambassador to Yemen said on Friday the reform initiative of President Ali Abdullah Saleh is paving a strong ground for the opposition to resume dialogue as the demands to overthrow his 33-year rule would not be a real solution to the country's woes.
"The idea of the president's downfall is not a real solution to the country's woes," U.S. Ambassador Gerald Feierstein said in an interview with the state daily al-Syasiah.
"Saleh's reform initiatives as well as his pledges to not re- elect himself after his presidential term expires in 2013 nor to hand over power to his son are paving a strong ground for the opposition to resume dialogue," he said.
"If President Saleh leaves, then what do you do on the next day? " said Feierstein, adding that there were several other ideas on the table about how Yemen shall develop in the future. "We agree with some of these ideas and disagree with some others," he said without naming those ideas.
Meanwhile, EU called for all Yemeni political parties to positively respond to the Thursday's reform initiative of President Saleh Tiffany Pendants, urging them to engage in an open and constructive dialogue.
"I have listened carefully to the announcement made by Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, in which he made proposals for constitutional reform and elections," the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission Catherine Ashton said in a statement issued from Brussels.
"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 can be fulfilled as soon as possible into concrete steps to respond to the demands of the people," she said.
"The EU will continue to follow the situation in Yemen very closely, and stands ready to continue supporting Yemeni efforts to press ahead with reforms," Ashton added.
After a series of concessions offered to the opposition, Saleh on Thursday launched more conciliation initiative, promising to hold a referendum on the constitution this year, including a new election law, to prepare to transfer power to the parliament, which was swiftly rejected by the opposition Designer Jewelry, saying it came too late.
Inspired by Tunisian and Egyptian protests, demonstrations demanding the immediate ouster of veteran President Saleh have swelled in major provinces Wedding dresses, including the capital Sanaa, since mid February as skirmishes took place between protesters and the police forces, leaving dozens dead, mostly in southern provinces.
The government said that while security forces are busy protecting the protests, al-Qaida wing on Friday gunned down four more policemen on a patrol vehicle in southeast province of Hadramout, bringing the death toll of security and army personnel targeted by the terrorist group to 20 since Feb. 11.
 
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