Ban: Egypt's leaders must address concerns

Jan. 31, 2011 at 2:15 PM

CAIRO, Jan. 31 (UPI) -- Egyptian leaders must take "bold measures" to address protesters' concerns while protesters must rally peacefully, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said.

"I have been repeatedly saying that the leaders of any country, including Egypt, should first of all listen attentively, most sincerely, to the voices of people," Ban said during a news conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he is attending an African Union summit. "And they have a broad responsibility, first of all, to provide decent jobs and good opportunities to maintain a decent living."

As the demonstrations calling for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's resignation became more violent last week, Ban urged all Egyptians to ensure that political protests don't escalate further, the United Nations said Monday in a news release.

Egypt's leaders must ensure demonstrators' freedoms of speech, expression and association, Ban said, while protesters have the responsibility to ensure their demonstrations should be done peacefully that doesn't lead to instability.

Asked whether he thought the appointment of a new government was sufficient, Ban said: "I would leave it to the Egyptian leaders. Reflecting all these concerns and wishes, they (government leaders) should take some bold measures to address (protesters') concerns."

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