On margins of General Assembly summit, Ban discusses Syria with Arab League officials
“They stressed the need to end the bloodshed in Syria as soon as possible, as well as to address the acute humanitarian needs there,” according to a readout of the meeting at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
More than 100,000 people have died, 4.25 million people have been displaced within the country, and at least another two million are refugees since fighting began in March 2011 between the Syrian Government and opposition groups seeking to oust President Bashar Al-Assad.
Mr. Ban and the Joint Special Representative of the UN and the League of Arab States, Lakhdar Brahimi, have repeatedly urged a political solution to the conflict through a comprehensive agreement between the Government and the opposition for the full implementation of the Geneva communiqué of 30 June 2012.
The Syria conflict will be among the main topics of discussion at the annual high-level General Assembly debate, which starts on Tuesday.
At today's meeting, Mr. Ban and Mr. Elaraby also discussed the situation in Libya, as well as the Middle East peace process.
According to his spokesperson, Mr. Ban welcomed progress and reaffirmed the importance of strengthening collaboration between the UN and the Arab League.
The UN chief also met today with Sheikh Jaber Al Mubarak Al Hamad Al Sabah of Kuwait, a member of the League of Arab States.
Mr. Ban thanked the Prime Minister for Kuwait's generous humanitarian support to UN efforts to assist Syrians.
The two officials also discussed the ongoing improvement of ties between Kuwait and Iraq during their meeting.