Ban: Syria govt must stop using weapons

2012-08-31 22:16
Ban Ki-moon (AP)

Ban Ki-moon (AP)

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Tehran - UN chief Ban Ki-moon told Syria's prime minister in Tehran on Friday that fighting must stop in Syria "with the primary responsibility resting on the government to halt its use of heavy weapons".

In the meeting with Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halaqi and Foreign Minister Walid Muallem, Ban said he set out "my demands for all sides to cease all forms of violence", with Damascus bearing the greatest responsibility.

"What is important at this time is that all the parties must stop the violence. All those actors who may be providing arms to both sides... must stop," Ban said at a news conference broadcast live on Iranian television.

The UN secretary general held his meeting with Halaqi on the sidelines of a two-day Non-Aligned Movement summit in Tehran that was to end on Friday.

Ban said he had asked Iran to support his call on Syria, "and I have a strong assurance from Iran that it will do so".
He also said he had a series of meetings with joint UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, who has taken over from Kofi Annan international efforts to broker peace in Syria.

The bloody conflict in Syria has claimed more than 26 000 lives since it began in March 2011, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Iran, the principal ally of the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, has accused the United States, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey of arming Syria's rebels.

The Syrian opposition and US officials in turn allege that Iran is giving military help to Assad.

Read more on:    un  |  bashar assad  |  ban ki-moon  |  syria  |  iran  |  syria conflict  |  uprisings

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