News / Middle East

    UN Leader, France Discuss Conflicts in Syria, Mali

    UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon (R) is welcomed by Irina Bokova, Director General of UNESCO, at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, October 9, 2012.
    UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon (R) is welcomed by Irina Bokova, Director General of UNESCO, at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, October 9, 2012.
    Lisa Bryant
    French President Francois Hollande and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon are calling for a resolution to conflicts in northern Mali and Syria, with Hollande pushing for tougher sanctions against the Syrian government.

    Speaking Tuesday morning in the French capital, Ban voiced alarm at the rising violence in Syria, and he issued another warning against those who aim to fuel it.

    "At this time, I would urge again those countries who are providing arms to both sides should stop. Following this military equipment and also for the militarization will put the Syrian people only more miserable situations," said Ban. "And this is not an option. The only option available is a political resolution through political dialogue led by the Syrian people."

    For his part, Hollande urged tougher sanctions against the Syrian government and raised concerns about the fallout of Syria's violence in Lebanon and Turkey.

    Ban and Hollande also addressed another unstable area - Africa's Sahel region. Hollande pressed again for African military intervention in Mali, where radical Islamists have seized control of the north.

    Hollande said he and Ban agree that African military intervention could take place fairly speedily once the Malian government asks for it, since no member of the U.N. Security Council would oppose it.

    Ban also called on al-Qaida's North African branch to immediately free French hostages it seized in Niger two years ago. The Islamist group reportedly has threatened to kill them if France mounts a military intervention in northern Mali.

    West African countries have accepted in principle the idea of sending a military force to that region, but critical details remain unsettled, including troop composition and financing.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Sunita from: India
    October 09, 2012 9:37 AM
    this UN is beginning to look like a sad perverse joke... Hey Mr. Moon, go condemn Israel for something... or may be another visit to countries in need of alignment... like Iran

    by: Anonymous
    October 09, 2012 8:16 AM
    What a sick joke! The insurgents are incapable of toppling the Syrian government and are loosing ground, capable only of desperate suicidal attacks. And like clockwork Turkey joins the fight with the "promise" of NATO support no less...
    In Response

    by: Malika Shabaz from: UK
    October 09, 2012 4:41 PM
    these are not "desperate" suicide attacks... its a religious command... THAT is ISLAM... nothing desperate about it... the 9/11 Arabs were not desperate... to think that this is desperation you must be a "western" - Jewish or Christian... trust me, I know... you must bring yourself to look at it... i know its hard... but it is what it is...

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