Syrian government urged to seize ‘small window of opportunity'

2013-03-02 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon is urging the Syrian government to take up a proposal of opposition representatives for a meeting to discuss a resolution to the ongoing conflict, calling it a “small window of opportunity” that “may soon close.”

Ban met today with a senior group of UN advisers in order to discuss a possible resolution for the ongoing conflict in Syria.

He held a press conference in Geneva yesterday, during which he said he is also urging world leaders, particularly the members of the Security Council, and leaders in the region “be united” toward a solution for peace.

“I am personally pained and distraught by the way in which this situation is continuing and deteriorating,” Ban told the press conference. “When I think of how many more people will be killed in the coming days and months when we do not have any political solution.”

He said he has “strongly encouraged the representatives of the opposition group” to meet with the Syrian government. In particular, he said he welcomed the proposal of opposition representative Moaz al-Khatib to meet with the representatives of the Syrian government.

“I know that the Syrian government, in particular Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem has expressed his willingness to meet with opposition representatives,” Ban stated.

“This is a very small window of opportunity, which we strongly encourage them and support them to use,” he continued. “That opportunity may soon close.”

Among the advisers with whom Ban met today was the UN Special Representative to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi.

Listen to a clip from the press conference with Ban Ki-Moon: