The UN Chief made the statement when he met visiting Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy, the second time in a month since they met in Brussels April 2.

Suspected extremist supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi launched several terrorist attacks against security staff and facilities over the past few months, which left dozens dead and hundreds injured.

They also discussed regional issues related to international peace and security.

"They compared notes on the Middle East peace process and Nile water issues as well as developments in Syria and Libya and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons," said Ban's spokesman in a statement.

In discussing Egypt's transition, Ban stressed "the need for all laws to comply with Egypt's international human rights obligations".

"Ban also welcomed the Egyptian authorities' decision to engage in dialogue on the draft amendment to the legal framework to counter terrorism, as well as the drafting of a new law criminalising sexual harassment," the statement said.

The secretary-general conveyed to the minister his strong concerns over the imposition of preliminary mass death sentences, the large number of arrests and sentencing under the recent law regulating protest, reports about prison conditions, as well as the continued detention of journalists.

An Egyptian court Monday sentenced 683 supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood to death over assaulting and murdering police last year.

Sentenced to death also was the Brotherhood's top leader Mohamed Badie, who was accused of inciting violence and murdering policemen at Al-Adwa town in Minya province.

Ban said he was "alarmed" by the news that another preliminary mass death sentence has been handed down in Egypt, the first of which was on March 24.

He said he "is conscious of the regional and security implications of such sentences".


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