Brussels, Belgium (PANA) – The European Union (EU) has expressed concern at the violence which erupted in the northern part of Mali on 17 January, following attacks launched by the National Movement of Liberation of the Azawad (MNLA), according to a statement issued on Wednesday in Brussels.
According to the statement, the High Representative of the EU for External Policy and Common Security, Ms. Cathérine Ashton, has called on all of the parties engaged in the conflict to cease hostilities "without further delay" and to begin "a constructive dialogue".
Hailing the call for national unity made by President Amadou Toumani Touré, Ashton emphasized the need to protect the territorial integrity of Mali, democracy and peace in the region.
According to Ms. Ashton, the EU is prepared to support an inter-Malian dialogue.
-0- PANA AK/AAS/IBA/MTD/VAO 8Feb2012