UN Chief Urges 'Transparent, Orderly and Peaceful Transition' in Egypt

EU foreign policy chief calls for formation of broad-based Egypt government; Germany's Merkel: We are all witness to an historic change.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday welcomed the resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, and called for a "transparent, orderly and peaceful transition" in the country. Ban also said he wanted to see "free, fair and credible" elections.

Mubarak's resignation came after weeks of anti-government protests which wreaked havoc on Egypt and took the lives of over 100 people. After Mubarak's resignation was announced, thousands of Egyptians flooded the streets in celebration, shouting "We toppled the regime."

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

The announcement drew measured reactions from leaders around the world, with most calling for a careful move toward democracy in the Arab world's most populace country.

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said Friday that Egypt must remain in the hands of the Egyptian people, and said that the multinational body which she represents would offer any possible assistance.

"It is important now that the dialogue is accelerated leading to a broad-based government which will respect the aspirations of, and deliver stability for, the Egyptian people," Ashton continued. "The EU stands ready to help in any way it can."

David Cameron called Friday for a move "to civilian and democratic rule'' in Egypt, following Mubarak's dramatic resignation.

The British prime minister said the departure of the 82-year-old Egyptian strongman after 30 years in power offered his country a "really precious moment of opportunity."

He said the new government in Egypt should start to put in place "the building blocks of a truly open, free and democratic society," the Press Association news agency reported.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel responded to Mubarak's resignation saying, "Today is a day of great joy."

"We are all witness to an historic change. I share the joy of the people of Egypt, with the millions of people on the streets of Egypt," Merkel said.

In Qatar, the Emir's royal council released a statement saying, "This is a positive, important step towards the Egyptian people's aspirations of achieving democracy and reform and a life of dignity."