EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton said Saturday that political dialogue promised by Bahrain's crown prince "should begin without delay," adding she was "deeply concerned" by violence against protesters.
"I am deeply concerned by new reports about the use of violence by the Bahraini security forces and strongly deplore the loss of lives. I reiterate my call on all parties to exercise restraint and calm in order to avoid further casualties and violence," Ashton said in a statement.
"I urge the Bahraini authorities to respect fundamental human rights including freedom of expression and the right to assemble freely.
"The dialogue announced by Bahraini crown prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa to meet the demands and aspirations of the people should begin without delay," Ashton said.