UN to send official to Cairo to discuss Egyptian political crisis

NEW YORK (AFP) - A senior United Nations official will visit Cairo next week to discuss the violent political crisis unfolding in Egypt, the UN said on Friday.

UN Undersecretary-Seneral for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman hopes to meet the Egyptian authorities.

He is traveling at the request of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, and will also visit other countries in the region, said deputy UN spokesman Eduardo del Buey.

Mr Ban was to return to New York on Saturday after a tour that took him to Jordan, the Palestinian territories and Israel. The goal of the trip was to support the renewed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

Mr Ban on Wednesday denounced the deadly crackdown by Egyptian security forces on supporters of ousted president Mohamed Mursi.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay called for a probe into the actions.

After an emergency meeting on Thursday evening, the 15 members of the Security Council called for both the authorities and protesters to exercise restraint.

But the council failed to agree on a formal statement.

The council will hold a session on Tuesday dedicated to the Middle East - it does so every month - and the Egyptian crisis will be discussed.

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