We're working with observers, Syria says

2012-05-07 19:03

Damascus - Syria's foreign minister said on Monday that his government was "facilitating" the work of UN observers deployed to monitor a ceasefire, which both sides have been accused of violating, state media reported.

"We continue to facilitate the work of the UN team," Walid Muallem told UN observer chief Major General Robert Mood, according to state news agency Sana.

There are currently around 50 observers based in various cities touched by the violence, with their number due to reach its full complement of around 300 in the coming weeks.

Muallem emphasised the need for the observers to continue to "demonstrate impartiality and professionalism".

The veteran Norwegian peacekeeper, for his part, thanked Muallem for "the cooperation of Damascus in promoting the work of the observers and ensuring their freedom of movement", Sana said.

The deadly unrest in Syria has persisted despite a tenuous UN-backed ceasefire that went into effect on 12 April, and which the hard-won UN military observer mission is tasked with monitoring.

Syrians were voting on Monday in the first "multiparty" parliamentary elections in five decades, against the backdrop of violence that has swept the country since an anti-regime uprising broke out in March last year

The opposition has dismissed Monday's vote as a sham and a ploy by the government to buy time and to dupe the international community into believing the regime is serious about reforms.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, more than 11 100 people have died in the 14 months of violence, most of them civilians.

Read more on:    un  |  syria  |  syria conflict  |  uprisings

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