UN chief Ban pleads with Syria for aid-worker access

By REUTERS
March 2, 2012 22:24
1 minute read.

UNITED NATIONS - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon made an impassioned plea on Friday for Damascus to grant immediate access for aid workers to besieged Syrian towns, describing the images of death coming out of the country as atrocious.

Ban was speaking to reporters after the International Committee of the Red Cross told Syria it was unacceptable that its aid convoy had been prevented from entering a battle-scarred district of Homs where the opposition said Syrian President Bashar Assad's army had committed a massacre.

"The images which we have seen in Syria (are) atrocious," Ban told reporters. "It's totally unacceptable, intolerable. How as a human being can you bear ... this situation? That really troubles me. I'm deeply sad seeing what's happening."

In a rare show of unity with Western powers, Russia and China joined other UN Security Council members on Thursday in expressing "deep disappointment" at Syria's failure to allow the UN humanitarian aid chief Valerie Amos to visit the country, and urged that she be allowed in immediately.

Russia and China have twice vetoed council resolutions that would have condemned Syria for the crackdown and demanded that it halt the crackdown on anti-Assad demonstrators.

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