Arab League observer mission to return to Syria: UN chief
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Wednesday that the Arab League wants to send its controversial observer mission back into Syria, which has been plunged into an 11-month political crisis, Xinhua reported.
The secretary-general, while speaking to reporters here after his closed-door meeting with the UN Security Council, said that Arab League Secretary-General Nabil al-Araby told him the decision when the two spoke by phone on Tuesday.
Ban said that he and al-Araby talked "about how to end the killings and begin political negotiations" in Syria.
"He informed me that he intends to send the Arab League observer mission back to Syria and asked for UN help," Ban said. " He further suggested that we consider a joint observer mission in Syria, including a joint special envoy."
The secretary-general made the statement after he briefed the 15-nation Security Council. "Many members expressed their views about the proposals," he said. "In the coming days, we will further consult the council before fleshing out details."
"We stand ready to assist in anyway that will contribute towards improvement on the ground and to the overall situation," he said.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assade, during his meeting with visiting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday, said that his country had welcomed all efforts aimed at supporting a solution to the political crisis and fully cooperated with the Arab League observer mission despite obstacles caused by some Arab countries, Syria's state-run SANA news agency reported.
The Arab League halted its observer mission in Syria on Jan. 28 because of escalating violence over the past three days, reports said.