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UN chief welcomes Security Council statement condemning Syria

08-04-2011 09:45 BJT Special Report:Unrest in Syria |

UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon Wednesday welcomed the adoption of a presidential statement by the Security Council condemning Syria, calling it "the clear message" of the international community, and called for the immediate cease of violence.

"I welcome the presidential statement adopted by the Security Council today as the clear message of the international community, " Ban told reporters at the Security Council stakeout after the adoption of the statement.

The world has watched a deteriorating situation in Syria with the most profound concern but the events of the past few days have been brutally shocking, Ban said.

"Once again I call on President Assad and Syrian authorities to immediately cease all violence against their people, to fully respect human rights, and implement reforms they have already announced," Ban said.

"I further urge them to comply with the Security Council's demand to allow independent and unimpeded access to international humanitarian agencies and to cooperate fully with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights," Ban said.

He said all killings should be investigated fully, independently and transparently, and those responsible should be held accountable.

"As I have repeatedly said, to the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people must be addressed through an inclusive, Syrian- led political process that guarantees fundamental freedoms and rights for all. Reporting obligations mandated by the Security Council will be met without delay," Ban said.

The 15-member Security Council adopted the presidential statement on Syria, condemning Syrian authorities' use of force against civilians and called on all parties to the conflict to stop the violence.

Meanwhile, Lebanon, a non-permanent-member of the Council and Syria's neighbor, disassociated itself from the statement.

The Council has previously failed to adopt a presidential statement or a resolution on the situation in Syria, which has been experiencing violence since protesters began seeking political reforms and the ouster of President Bashar Al-Assad in mid-March.

Casualties have been recorded on both sides of the protesters and that of government security forces. During fighting in Hama on July 31 alone, 140 Syrians were killed, according to media reports.

A presidential statement is an official record of the Council but is non-binding and weaker than a resolution.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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