Situation in Syria is intolerable: Ban

20 Mar 2012


Syrian Kurds hold a huge Syrian flag during a pro-democracy demonstration calling for political changes in Syria. - Photo by AFP

BOGOR: UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon said on Tuesday that the situation in Syria has become unacceptable and called on the Security Council to unite on the issue.

“The situation in Syria has become an unacceptable and intolerable situation,” Ban said in Bogor, Indonesia, where he addressed the country's peacekeepers working for the UN.

His comments come ahead of a UN Security Council meeting on Tuesday to discuss a draft statement calling for possible “further measures” if President Bashar al-Assad does not carry out a peace plan by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan.

A Western-drafted statement on Syria was put to the council on Monday by France, aiming to give strong backing to Annan's efforts to halt the 12 months of killing in Syria.

The document, which could be voted on Tuesday, is a presidential statement, which has less weight than a resolution but is adopted by consensus and is generally negotiated faster.

The statement, obtained by AFP, would express the “gravest concern” at the deteriorating crisis in Syria and “profound regret” at the thousands of dead over the past year.

It calls on Assad and Syria's opposition to “implement fully and immediately” Annan's six-point peace plan.

France's UN envoy Gerard Araud said he hoped it would be adopted the same day.

The plan includes a halt to the violence, humanitarian access, the release of detainees held over the past year and withdrawal of security forces from protest cities.