Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Ban urges dialogue on Syrian 'crisis'

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

Source: Press TV

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called for inclusive dialogue and reform to restore peace and social order in Syria amidst Western media attack on Damascus.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the UN chief called on Syria to respect international human rights and the “legitimate aspirations” of its people, Reuters reported.

He added that he believes only an "inclusive dialogue and genuine reform" could lead to a peaceful solution to the crisis in Syria.

Ban also backed a call by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, for an "independent, transparent and effective investigation" into the alleged "hundreds of deaths" in Syria.

The UN secretary general's comments came after a closed-door Security Council meeting on Syria.

European nations led by France, Germany and Britain are struggling to persuade the 15-nation UN Security Council (UNSC) to pass a resolution against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Russia, a veto-holding member of the group, has so far posed as the main block to the anti-Bashar statement.

"We are watching events [in Syria] very closely, and with increasingly grave concern," Ban told reporters after leaving the Security Council talks.

Syria's UN Ambassador, Bashar Ja'afari, meanwhile, dismissed the recent UNSC talks and called on the world body not to “respond to media reports” on his country.

Speaking outside the Security Council chambers on Tuesday, Ja'afari also pointed out that Syria was perfectly capable of carrying out its own inquiry into the recent violence in the country.

"Syria has a government, has a state," the Syrian diplomat said. "We can undertake any investigation by our own selves with full transparency... We have nothing to hide.”

The UN Security Council is to meet again on Wednesday for talks on the Arab country.

Syria has been grappling with scattered protests over the past six weeks.

According to human rights activists, hundreds of people have been killed since the beginning of the protests in Syria in mid-March.

The Syrian government blames most of the deaths on armed gangs and foreign elements.

Damascus has repeatedly denied allegations that security forces are responsible for the death of protesters, saying they have been given clear instructions not to hurt civilians.

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