Europe on Friday welcomed Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak's decision to stand down, saying he had "listened to the voices of the Egyptian people" and opened the way to reform. European Union foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton said that by departing Mubarak had "opened the way to faster and deeper reforms". "It is important now that the dialogue is accelerated leading to a broad-based government which will respect the aspirations of, and deliver stability for, the Egyptian people," she said in a statement. "The future of Egypt rightly remains in the hands of the Egyptian people," the statement added. The EU stands ready to help in any way it can."