UN chief opposed to arming Syrian rebels
International peace meet on Syria likely in July United Nations (IANS): UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has reaffirmed his organisation's...
International peace meet on Syria likely in July United Nations (IANS): UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has reaffirmed his organisation's determination to seek a political settlement to the long-standing crisis in Syria, saying "there is no military solution" to the conflict. "There is no military solution to this conflict, even if both the government and the opposition, and their supporters, think there can be," Xinhua quoted the secretary-general as saying Friday at the UN Headquarters in New York. "The military path points directly towards the further disintegration of the country, destabilisation of the region and inflammation of religious and communal tensions," Ban said. The Syrian crisis broke out in March 2011, leading to a massive exodus of refugees into neighbouring countries, such as Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. The UN has been pushing for a political solution to the Syrian crisis. "The worsening of the conflict is also making the delivery of urgent humanitarian assistance much more difficult," Ban said. He appealed to the international community to support the neighbouring countries bearing the burden of refugees. "The suffering of the Syrian people makes a political solution all the more important," Ban said. "Joint Special Representative (Lakhdar) Brahimi and I continue to push for a negotiated transition and to get the parties to the table in Geneva as soon as possible," Ban said. "All countries involved must uphold their responsibilities to seek a resolution of this tragedy." Earlier this month, Brahimi said in Geneva following talks held there among US, Russian and UN officials, that the international conference on Syria was likely to be held in July. Russia and United States announced last month their intention to convene an international conference to find a political solution to the Syria crisis, which has reportedly claimed nearly 93,000 lives over the past two years. The crisis has also left 6.8 million people in need, and sent more than 1.5 million Syrians fleeing to neighbouring countries to seek refuge.