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Ki-Moon: Syria situation ‘unacceptable and intolerable’

March 20, 2012

BOGOR (Indonesia): UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon said today the situation in Syria has become “unacceptable” and called on the Security Council to unite over the issue.

His comments came ahead of a UN Security Council meeting today to discuss a draft statement urging possible “further measures” if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad fails to implement a peace plan by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan.

The statement, which carries less weight than a resolution, is generally negotiated faster and could be voted on at the Security Council meeting if consensus is reached.

“The situation in Syria has become an unacceptable and intolerable situation,” Ban said in Bogor, Indonesia, where he addressed the country’s peacekeepers working for the UN.

“I have seen hope that the international community will continually speak in one voice. And particularly the Security Council, I hope, will be able to be united so they can speak in one voice,” he added.

Ban said he appreciated that many nations had engaged in diplomatic efforts to help end the violence in Syria, where a deadly year-long government crackdown has killed thousands of opposition protesters.

Russia, a Security Council member and a key ally of Damascus, yesterday added its voice to growing calls for a humanitarian truce in Syria.

The Western-drafted statement at the UN was put to the council yesterday by France, aiming to give strong backing to Annan’s efforts to halt the 12 months of killing in Syria.

The statement, obtained by AFP, expresses “gravest concern” at the deteriorating situation in Syria and “profound regret” at the thousands of dead over the past year.

It calls on Assad and Syria’s opposition to “implement fully and immediately” Annan’s six-point peace plan.

France’s UN envoy Gerard Araud said he hoped it would be adopted the same day.

The plan includes a halt to the violence, humanitarian access, the release of detainees held over the past year and withdrawal of security forces from protest cities.

- AFP


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