News story

PM and Ban Ki-moon condemn Egypt violence

The Prime Minister has welcomed UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to Downing Street for bilateral talks. The two leaders focused on the ongoing unrest and violence in Egypt.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Speaking to journalists outside Number 10, the Prime Minister and the Secretary General condemned the violence taking place in Egypt today and urged restraint.

The PM said it would be “completely and utterly unacceptable” if the Egyptian authorities were found to be behind the violence. He called for the transition to a broader and more democratic government “to be accelerated and happen quickly”.

He said:

These are despicable scenes that we’re 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 road map 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, and that change needs to start happening now and the violence needs to stop.

Mr Ban said he was “deeply concerned” about the violence and that the danger of instability across the Middle East should not be understimated. He called for all sides in the dispute to engage in an “orderly and peaceful transition”.

Clashes have taken place thoughout the day in Cairo’s Tahrir Square between anti-government protesters and apparent supporters of the incumbent President Mubarak.

Last night President Mubarak vowed to oversee a transition to a broader-based government and not to stand in September’s elections following several days of demonstrations.

Published 2 February 2011