Ban discusses concerns about Egypt with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton

31 July 2013

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today voiced his deep concern about the direction of the transition in Egypt in a conversation with European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton, who visited the country this week and met with its deposed leader, Mohamed Morsy.

In particular, Mr. Ban shared with Ms. Ashton his concern about the continued detentions in the country, where the military earlier this month removed Mr. Morsy from the presidency amid widespread protests in which dozens of people were killed and wounded. The Constitution was then suspended and an interim Government set up.

Noting that it was welcome and important that Ms. Ashton had seen Mr. Morsy, the Secretary-Genera reiterated his call to release the former president and senior Muslim Brotherhood officials, according to a read-out of the conversation issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson.

They stressed the importance of an inclusive political process which would take into account views and aspirations of all parts of Egypt’s political spectrum, it added.

Egypt has been undergoing a democratic transition following the toppling of President Hosni Mubarak two years ago in the wake of mass protests similar to those seen in other parts of the Middle East and North Africa as part of the “Arab Spring.”

Mr. Ban and the High Representative also discussed the Middle East peace process, with the Secretary-General expressing his hope for the success of the current efforts to bring the Israelis and Palestinians together at the negotiating table, and the UN’s readiness to work with the EU and other partners in the diplomatic Quartet to support the process.


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News Tracker: Past Stories on This Issue

In phone call with Egypt's interim vice president, Ban urges protection of all Egyptians

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today expressed his profound concern about the direction in which the transition in Egypt is moving and reiterated his strong condemnation of the upsurge of violence that has led to scores of people killed and hundreds others injured.