| Updated at: 0537 PST, Wednesday, February 09, 2011|
UNITED NATIONS: UN chief Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday that the Egyptian people are frustrated and demanding "bold reforms," but pulled back from previous calls for an immediate transition by President Hosni Mubarak.
Saying that previous comments had been misunderstood, Ban told reporters the Egyptian people must resolve the country's political crisis even though there could be a spillover on the Middle East peace process.
"First, as protests and discussions continue, I call on all parties to avoid violence and to ensure freedom of expression and information," Ban told a press conference.
"Second, the Egyptian people are clearly frustrated, and are calling for bold reforms. It is incumbent on the Egyptian leadership -- and that of any other country in the world -- to listen attentively to the legitimate concerns and aspirations of their people.
"Third, 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 UN secretary general said it was "entirely for the Egyptian people to define" their future course.
Ban was criticized by Egypt's UN ambassador and the Russian and Chinese envoys to the United Nations when he said last week that there should be an immediate transition in Egypt and criticized government action in clamping down on reporters and demonstrators.
The Egyptian mission said Ban had gone further than other international criticism of President Mubarak while Russia and China said Ban's comments had become too "political."