UN chief urges Syrian president to stop violence against civilians
The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned violence against both civilians and security forces in Syria, said a readout on Ban's phone call with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad released on Saturday, Xinhua reported.
The readout, which issued by Ban's spokesperson, said in a phone conversation with Syrian President Assad, the secretary- general expressed his strong concern and that of the international community at the mounting violence and death toll in Syria over the past days.
He reflected to Assad the clear message sent by the Security Council and urged him to stop the use of military force against civilians immediately.
In response to Assad's reference to the large number of lives lost among the security forces and police, Ban said that "he condemned the violence against both the civilians as well as security forces", according to the readout.
The secretary-general underscored that for reform measures to gain credibility, the use of force and mass arrests must stop immediately. He reminded Assad of the Syrian authorities' obligations under international human rights law, said the readout.
Concerning the humanitarian situation in Syria, Ban reiterated his call on the Syrian government to receive missions from the international humanitarian agencies and from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. These matters will be discussed further with the minister of foreign affairs during the coming week.
Ban underlined the responsibility of the Syrian authorities to ensure the security of the UN staff and premises inside the country, said the readout.
UN Security Council Wednesday adopted a presidential statement on Syria, condemning Syrian authorities' use of force against civilians and called on all parties to the conflict to stop the violence.