UN chief urges Security Council to act on Syria

Ban Ki-Moon says Council should speak with "one voice," says casualties in Syria have reached "unacceptable" level.

January 16, 2012 16:52
1 minute read.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon speaks in Lebanon

Ban Ki-moon in Lebanon 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

ABU DHABI - The UN chief said on Monday he hoped the Security Council will act together to resolve the crisis in Syria, and urged the current Arab League observer mission there to continue its work.

President Bashar al-Assad's violent response to the uprising against his rule has killed more than 5,000 people, by a UN count. Syrian authorities say 2,000 members of the security forces have also been killed.

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"I hope the UN Security Council handles Syria in a coherent manner and with a sense of gravity," Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on a visit to Abu Dhabi, echoing a previous call for the council to speak with "one voice" on Syria.

"The casualties have reached such an unacceptable stage we cannot let the situation continue this way," Ban said. "I highly appreciate the League of Arab States engaging in discussions with President Assad. I sincerely hope they carry on and they need to have a clear sense of action."

Arab League foreign ministers are due to meet later this month to discuss the future of a monitoring mission sent last month to check if Syria is respecting an Arab peace plan.

Ban repeated his call for Assad to "stop killing, and listen to his people."

Anti-Assad protests began in March of last year, inspired by a wave of popular anger against autocratic rulers sweeping the Arab world.

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