UNITED NATIONS - In an extensive telephonic discussion, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Monday urged Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to stop violence in the country immediately and called for a broad-based dialogue, a UN spokesman said. "The secretary general expressed deep concern at the escalating scale of violence and emphasised that it must stop immediately," Spokesman Martin Nesirky said in a statement. "He reiterated his call for respect for basic freedoms and human rights including peaceful assembly and information," the statement said. On Sunday night, Ban again called for the non-use of force and respect for basic freedoms, as he voiced concern about reports of escalating violence and bloodshed amid the protests in North Africa and the Middle East. "Stressing that utmost restraint must be exercised by all concerned, he wishes to reaffirm his conviction that this is the time for broad-based dialogue and for genuine social and political reform," Nesirky said. Ban has been closely following what has been taking place in the region, including Bahrain, Libya, Yemen and other countries, and is in continuous contact with leaders there to discuss developments, according to the statement. "He has been encouraging them to listen to the aspirations of their people and respond to their legitimate aspirations. He has urged all parties to exercise restraint and especially to refrain from violence." On Saturday, the Secretary-General spoke to King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain and urged the Government to exercise maximum restraint as well as to calm the volatile situation in the Gulf nation. He welcomed the King's decision to initiate a dialogue, and reiterated the readiness of the United Nations to support such a process, if requested. Meanwhile, human rights groups have reported that over 200 people have died since last Thursday amid the Government's crackdown on protesters. In addition, Ban has agreed to dispatch senior UN officials to Egypt following conversations with the country's top leadership. Last Friday, the UN human rights chief denounced the violence by security forces against protesters in Libya, Bahrain and other countries in the Middle East and North Africa as illegal and excessively heavy-handed. Reuters adds: European Union foreign ministers condemned the killing of anti-government protesters in Libya on Monday as they met to discuss the fallout from the wave of unrest sweeping North Africa and the Middle East. Ministers from Britain, France, Germany and Italy expressed alarm at the violence and concern about the possibility of an influx of illegal migrants from North Africa after Libya's threat last week to stop cooperation in stemming the flow. Meanwhile, the head of the Arab League called for an end to violence in Libya on Monday, saying the demands of Arab people for change are legitimate. Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa said the bloodshed in Libya, where violent unrest has spread to the capital Tripoli, must stop, Egyptian state news agency MENA reported. "The demands of the Arab peoples for reform, development and change are legitimate and ... the feelings of all the (Arab) nations are joined in this decisive moment in history," MENA cited Moussa as saying. Meanwhile, the United States has ordered all non-emergency personnel to leave Libya, where anti-government protesters have been gathering for days amid turmoil throughout the Middle East. The US State Department, in also warning Embassy family members to leave the embattled country, said protests, violence and looting were possible during the next several days. "Demonstrations have degenerated on several occasions into violent clashes between security forces and protesters, resulting in injuries and deaths," the State Department said in its warning. The move comes amid conflicting reports in the region, including one that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was en route to Venezuela, a claim that government in Caracas denied.