UNITED NATIONS - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon on Tuesday called for "an orderly and peaceful transition" in Egypt and voiced his hope that "genuine dialogue between the leaders and the people will lead to the beginning of such a process."
The secretary-general made the statement to a press conference here after he briefed the UN Security Council on his recent trip to Switzerland, Ethiopia, Britain and Germany.
"An orderly and peaceful transition is crucial," Ban said. "I hope that genuine dialogue between the leaders and the people will lead to the beginning of such a process."
"The details of that process and indeed the future course of their country are entirely for the Egyptian people to define," he said. "The United Nations stands ready to provide any assistance."
Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman announced on Tuesday in Cairo that President Hosni Mubarak took another step towards democratic reforms as he approved a committee to oversee constitutional changes in the Middle East country.
The committee will wrap up its work by the end of February, Suleiman said, adding that Egypt has a timetable for a peaceful and organized transfer of power.
Mubarak who ruled his country for 30 years pledged that he will not seek a new term, and he will stay until September's presidential election in order to ensure stability in the country.