Ban says attacks on Egypt protestors 'unacceptable'
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Wednesday that any attacks on peaceful demonstrators in Egypt were "unacceptable", as supporters and opponents of President Hosni Mubarak clashed in Cairo.
"Any attack against the peaceful demonstrators is unacceptable and I strongly condemn it," Ban told journalists in London after talks with British Prime Minister David Cameron.
Cameron condemned the "despicable scenes" in the Egyptian capital on Wednesday and said any state sponsorship of the violence would be "completely unacceptable".
With Egyptian troops firing warning shots for the first time in a bid to end clashes between supporters of the regime and protesters, Ban urged the Egyptian government to quickly bring in political change.
"It is important at this juncture that it is ensured that an orderly and peaceful transition should take place. I urge all the parties to engage in such dialogue and such process without any further delay," he said.
Ban said the UN was ready to provide "any assistance" with pushing through political change.
"We should not underestimate the danger of instability across the Middle East," he added.
Cameron expressed "grave concern" over the developments on Wednesday and said Mubarak should urgently set out a roadmap for reform.
"If it turns out that the regime in any way has been sponsoring or tolerating this violence that would be completely and utterly unacceptable," he said.
"These are despicable scenes that we are seeing and they should not be repeated. They underline the need for political reform and frankly for that political reform to be accelerated and to happen quickly.
"We need to see a clear roadmap for that political reform so that people in Egypt can have confidence that their aspirations for a more democratic future with greater rights is met.
"That change needs to start happening now and the violence needs to stop."
© 2011 AFP