The United States called on President Hussain Mohammed Ershad and his political opponents to open talks in an effort to end unrest that has crippled Bangladesh for nearly six weeks. The U.S. Embassy in Dhaka issued a brief statement calling for a dialogue among "all political elements" in the country to resolve sometimes-violent protests that began in November. U.S. Ambassador Willard De Pree has met separately with Ershad and the chief opposition leaders, Hasina Wajed and Khaleda Zia, but details of their talks have not been divulged. Wajed and Zia have rejected talks with Ershad, insisting that he resign.