New York

09 August 2013

Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on the situation in Egypt

As the Eid al-Fitr Muslim holiday comes to a close, the Secretary-General is deeply concerned by the continuing political stalemate in Egypt. The Secretary-General repeats his commitment to support non-violent Egyptian-led approaches to meeting the aspirations of the Egyptian people.

Since January 2011, the Egyptian people have raised their voices, through a series of massive and peaceful demonstrations that have sparked unprecedented change and debate over the future of Egypt. The Secretary-General applauds the deep courage and commitment of the Egyptian people during this period in exercising their rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression in support of their respective visions for moving Egypt forward.

Yet in light of current tensions and given the risk of potential violence, the Secretary-General also believes it is of critical importance that all sides in Egypt - those in positions of authority as well as those protesting in the street - should urgently reconsider their current actions and language.

For this reason, the Secretary-General urges Egyptians to set aside or avoid actions and words likely to be perceived by others as provocative. Instead they should try to look creatively at new approaches toward a genuinely inclusive political process that would be rooted in reconciliation. In the Secretary-General's view, political strategies need to adjust to evolving circumstances and realities if they are to serve their country.

The Secretary-General's immediate concern is for the leaders of Egypt, on all sides, to exercise their leadership and their responsibility to do whatever can be done to prevent further loss of life among the Egyptian people.

As long as they avoid the path of violence, the Secretary-General is confident that the Egyptian people, representing one of the world's great and historic civilizations, will successfully find a way forward. The United Nations remains fully engaged in supporting Egypt.