On Day of Departure, Ban Ki Moon Comes Close to Calling for Mubarak’s Departure

Ban Ki Moon held a press conference with the German Foreign Minister today. He had some sharp words for Hosni Mubarak:

“I sincerely hope that the protest today will go without violence. We have seen too much violence and bloodshed,” Ban Ki-moon told reporters in Berlin following a meeting with German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.

He added: “It’s time to begin a process of peaceful and orderly transition leading to free and fair elections. The UN is ready to assist.”

He said the transition process should start “as soon as possible … the sooner the better.”  [emphasis mine]

Yesterday, he had this to say about the apparent crackdown on international media.

I share particular concern about the intimidation and restrictions on the international media and human rights groups in Cairo.

Let me be absolutely clear. This is outrageous and totally unacceptable. It must stop now.

Respecting freedom of expression and assembly as well as information is a crucial and essential part of democratic values.

I once again strongly urge the Egyptian authorities to listen to the voices of the people and immediately start real change.