UN chief worried about army role in Egypt crisis

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) - UN leader Ban Ki Moon believes Egyptians have "legitimate concerns", but is worried about the military's ousting of President Mohamed Mursi, a spokesman said.

"Egyptians in their protests have voiced deep frustrations and legitimate concerns. At the same time, military interference in the affairs of any state is of concern," said deputy UN spokesman Eduardo del Buey on Wednesday.

The UN secretary general "is following closely and with continuing concern the fast-moving developments in Egypt. He continues to stand with the aspirations of the Egyptian people," said Mr del Buey.

Egypt has been left at a new "delicate juncture" with the military's suspension of the constitution, he added, stressing Mr Ban's appeal for "calm, non-violence, dialogue and restraint" as the country confronts "high tension and uncertainty."

"An inclusive approach is essential to addressing the needs and concerns of all Egyptians. Preservation of fundamental rights, including freedom of speech and assembly, remain of vital importance," said Mr del Buey.

"Therefore, it will be crucial to quickly reinforce civilian rule in accordance with principles of democracy.

"The world is watching closely the next steps with the hope that Egyptians will remain on a peaceful course, overcome the deep difficulties they are facing today, and find the needed common ground to move forward in a transition for which so many fought so courageously," said the spokesman.