Syria remains priority for Security Council: Masood Khan

Friday, January 04, 2013
Masood Khan briefs press at UN Headquarters
[PHOTO: UNifeed] 
New York: Ambassador Masood Khan of Pakistan, which holds the rotating presidency of the Security Council for this month, told a news conference at UN Headquarters that Syria remains "a priority for the Council"  and diplomatic efforts are continuing "even as we speak."

Khan said he has been informed by Joint UN-Arab League Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi that he is currently engaging Moscow, the United States, Damascus and other regional leaders, "making all efforts to pave the way for some diplomatic breakthrough."

Khan highlighted the role being played by Russia and the United States as they make "honest endeavours to resolve this issue, this thorny issue, and to also to move towards some sort of middle ground."

The Council, Khan told reporters, will also focus on a number of issues this month that are part of its regular agenda, including developments in the Central African Republic, the Middle East, Sudan and South Sudan, and Darfur, among others.

He said there was "huge concern about concentration of extremist elements in Mali, and the Council is serious about this threat and it will continue to work with the African Union to come up with a concrete response to this challenge."

On the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Khan called for a cease fire which "would usher in an era of stability" and added that the situation is "worrisome" and the cessation of hostilities "should be respected by all sides."

The Pakistani Ambassador announced that his delegation will convene a ministerial-level open debate on a comprehensive approach to counter terrorism on 15 January.

The meeting, which will be chaired by Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, is expected to draw participation at the ministerial level and feature a briefing from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

He said peacekeeping and terrorism, issues which are particularly relevant for Pakistan, as well as for the wider international community, will feature prominently in the work of the Security Council in January. -UNifeed
Next Post »