The United Nations’ secretary-general, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, has claimed that Egypt under President Hosni Mubarak has played a key role in seeking peace between Israel and the Palestinians and this role must be preserved in any transition stemming from the current mass protests.
Mr. Ban, speaking to reporters in Munich on Tuesday, February 8, said: “The president himself, Mubarak himself, has been playing a key role in this process.”
According to Mr. Ban, “The very strategic role which Egypt has been playing in the overall Middle East peace process should also be preserved. That is why I am asking that all this transition should be orderly and peaceful so that there should not be any negative sudden impact.”
The UN secretary-general is in Munich to participate a high-level meeting of the “Quartet,” comprising the UN, European Union (EU) Russia and the United States. The Quartet’s aim is to seek a two-State solution to the Middle East conflict based on Israel and Palestine living side by side as sovereign nations in peace and security.
“While the Quartet did not discuss Egypt in detail, we are all conscious that it remains a crucial partner for both the Palestinian Authority and for Israel, and for the peace process,” Mr. Ban said.
According to reports from Munich, Mr. Ban later briefed Arab League ambassadors on the situation.
On the situation in Egypt, Mr. Ban urged all parties to avoid violence and ensure freedom of expression and information. “An orderly and peaceful transition is crucial. I hope that a genuine dialogue between the leaders and the people will lead to the beginning of such a process. The details of that process – and indeed the future course of their country – are entirely for the Egyptian people to define. The United Nations stands ready to provide any assistance.”