UN Chief expresses concern over ongoing violence in Syria


New York, Feb. 8(Petra)-- The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the ongoing violence and humanitarian crisis in Syria and Mali are of particular concern.



"As the Syrian conflict continues and gains deeply worrying sectarian undertones -- it is our collective responsibility to remind all warring parties of their obligations under human rights and international humanitarian law. I count on all Member States with influence to urge Syrian authorities and opposition groups to avoid any further militarization and engage in a political process" the UN chief said.



Ban also stressed the need to advance the Middle East peace process, noting that the expansion of Israeli settlements, the financial difficulties of the Palestinians and the continued division of the West Bank and Gaza are serious concerns.



"The status quo is unsustainable. Negotiations are the only way to end the occupation and achieve the two-state solution'', he added.



//Petra// SD



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