Listen to people, UN chief tells leaders

The UN chief will visit Egypt and Tunisia next week amid continuing turmoil.

Updated: Mar 12, 2011, 10:40 AM IST

New York: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged world leaders to "listen to the voices of people" as he announced plans to visit Egypt and Tunisia.

The UN chief will visit the two countries next week amid continuing turmoil in the Arab world, particularly in Libya where forces loyal to and ranged against Muammar Gaddafi are locked in bitter fighting.

"In every conversation, at every opportunity, I have urged leaders to listen to the voices of their people, to heed their aspirations for change, and to advance toward a better future, through dialogue and fully inclusive democracy," Xinhua quoted him as saying.

"I will be in the region later next week, when I intend to visit Egypt and Tunisia," he said.

"For my part, I have been consulting very widely with world leaders, focusing chiefly on Libya, but also the wider challenges in the region," he added.

Ban did not give any dates for his upcoming trip.