UN says ready to aid Arab peace mission to Syria

UNITED NATIONS - The United Nations is ready to support a proposed Arab League peace monitoring mission to Syria, where an eight-month crackdown on protests had led to thousands of deaths, a UN spokesman said on Friday.
The pan-Arab body said in a statement on Thursday it was urging the United Nations to take "necessary measures according to the UN charter to support the Arab League's effort to settle the complicated situation in Syria."
UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed what he called the league's "proposal to send an observer mission to protect civilians in Syria" and strongly urged Damascus to give its "consent and full cooperation."
"As invited by the Arab League ... the secretary-general is ready to provide the support needed," Nesirky told reporters.
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