By Faruk Zorlu
BRUSSELS, Belgium (AA) - The European Union on Saturday called for "broad-based and inclusive dialogue" to calm tension in Hong Kong.
In a statement, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said: "Engagement in a process of broad-based and inclusive dialogue, involving all key stakeholders, is essential".
"It is crucial that restraint be exercised, violence rejected, and urgent steps taken to de-escalate the situation", Mogherini added.
Since early June, Hong Kong, an autonomous region which has been under China’s control since 1997, has witnessed unprecedented protests against the proposed extradition bill that would legalize extradition of suspects to mainland China, Macao, and Taiwan.
"For the last two months, large numbers of citizens have been exercising their fundamental right of assembly," Mogherini said.
"However, there has recently been a rising number of unacceptable violent incidents, with risks of further violence and instability," she added.
In late July, China had warned that it may deploy armed forces to the region to quell the anti-government demonstrations.