‘Disappointed’ UN chief denounces Assad’s speech

Tuesday, January 08, 2013
UN Spokesman Martin Nesirky briefs reporters in NY
[PHOTO: UNifeed] 
New York: United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was disappointed that a speech made by Syria's President Bashar al Assad on Sunday "does not contribute to a solution that could end the terrible suffering of the Syrian people," the UN chief's spokesperson said.

Martin Nesirky, speaking at a news briefing at UN Headquarters in New York said "what the Syrian people desperately need at this time are real solutions to the crisis that is tearing their nation apart."

Nesirky added that "the speech rejected the most important element of the Geneva communiqué of the 30th of June 2012, namely a political transition and the establishment of a transitional governing body with full executive powers that would include representatives of all Syrians." 

In his statement to the media, Nesirky said the United Nations "remains committed to do its utmost, in cooperation with other partners, to alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people inside and outside Syria" and will "continue to help the people of Syria fulfill their legitimate aspirations for peace, dignity, freedom, justice and democracy in a united and sovereign Syria."

He said the Secretary-General "reaffirms his long-held view that there is no military solution to the conflict in Syria."      

In his 6 January speech – made in the capital, Damascus, and his first public remarks in around six months – President al-Assad reportedly put forward a peace plan involving an army ceasefire which would follow a halt to operations by rebel groups, as well as a national reconciliation conference and a new constitution, amongst other points. He was also reported to have described opposition groups as "puppets" of Western countries.

Nesirky insisted the process "must be Syrian led and Syrian owned and it's for the people of Syria to decide the future leadership of the country," stressing that "there needs to be a new and democratic Syria as early as possible and one where the rights of all groups and minorities are properly protected."

The Spokesperson said the Secretary-General and Joint Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi have worked and continue to work towards a political solution to the conflict through a political transition that includes the establishment of a transitional Government and the holding of free and fair elections under the auspices of the United Nations.

More than 60,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in Syria since the uprising against President al-Assad began in early 2011. Recent months have witnessed an escalation in the conflict, which is now in its 23rd month. -UNifeed
Next Post »