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EU Concerned By Political Unrest In Guinea

The European Union on Tuesday voiced concerns over the ongoing political unrest in Guinea, and urged all concerned parties to show restraint and resolve differences through a national dialogue.

Since last Wednesday, Guinea has been witnessing violent clashes triggered by a row between the government and the opposition over the long-delayed legislative elections, which would complete a transition to civilian rule after a 2008 military coup.

At least one person was killed and six others injured on Monday when Guinea's security forces opened fire on opposition protesters in capital Conakry. The incident happened just hours after the opposition opted out of a meeting called by the government in a bid to resolve the crisis.

A statement issued by the office of EU's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on Tuesday said the European bloc's top diplomat is viewing "with concern the violent events in Guinea following an authorized opposition protest."

Ashton also called on all parties to exercise restraint and pursue the government-called talks which began on Monday, in an effort to resolve the crisis.

"In order to complete the transition as quickly as possible, all parties must assume their responsibilities, stop all violence and provocation and help create a calmer atmosphere in which sincere political dialogue can take place," the statement said, reiterating the bloc's repeated call for a " transparent and inclusive electoral process" in Guinea.

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