The US State Department said on Friday it welcomed efforts by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to address Yemen's political crisis and said all parties must take part in the effort for it to succeed.
The GCC has launched an effort to bring Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh into talks with opposition forces that want to end his 32 years in power in the Gulf nation.
Dozens of anti-government protesters in Yemen were shot and wounded in fresh clashes with police on Friday as Saleh, having at first accepted an offer by the GCC to hold talks with the opposition, appeared to back away from the idea.
"The United States welcomes the initiative of the GCC to address the challenging political situation in Yemen," State Department spokesman Mark Toner said in a written statement.
"We strongly encourage all sides to engage in this urgently needed dialogue to reach a solution supported by the Yemeni people," the spokesman added. "
President Saleh has publicly expressed his willingness to engage in a peaceful transition of power; the timing and form of this transition should be identified through negotiation and begin soon.
"To succeed, all parties must participate in a process that addresses the legitimate concerns of the Yemeni people, including their political and economic aspirations," he added.