UN political affairs chief to hold dialogue in Cairo

    By IANS,

    United Nations : UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said Under Secretary General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman will “have a wide range of dialogue” in Cairo, Egypt, starting Tuesday amid the ongoing violence in that country.

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    Ban made the announcement Monday urging all Egyptian parties to enter into a dialogue in order to put an early end to the ongoing crisis, Xinhua reported.

    At least 866 people have been killed across Egypt since the country’s security forces dispersed sit-ins by protesters supporting ousted president Mohamed Morsi.

    The extensive talks will focus on “how the United Nations can best support the initiatives to restore peace and forge conciliations in Egypt”, Ban said.

    Feltman, a former top US diplomat for the Middle East, will meet with a range of representatives of the military-appointed government of Egypt.

    He will also go to several other countries in the Middle East for consultations, and will report to the secretary general on the Egyptian crisis.

    Ban will take Feltman’s advice into consideration before making new decisions on the issue.

    “Preventing further loss of life should be the highest priority. I urge all Egyptians to exercise maximum restraint and resolve differences peacefully,” Ban said.

    “With such sharp polarisation in the Egyptian society, both the authorities and the political leaders share the responsibility for ending the current violence.

    “They should spare no effort to swiftly adopt a credible plan to contain the violence and revive the political process hijacked by violence,” he added.

    On Thursday, the UN Security Council, after closed-door consultations, called on all parties in Egypt to end the violence and exercise maximum restraint.

    “The United Nations is ready to support the Egyptian-led approaches to resolving the current crisis,” said Ban.