||Home > Justice and Peace > 2013-08-28 16:53:08
Ban Ki-moon appeals for Syria diplomatic solution
28 Aug. 2013: United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon pleaded Wednesday for a diplomatic solution to the Syrian conflict, even as world powers appeared to be moving toward punitive military strikes against President Bashar Assad's regime, for what the United States and its allies say was a deadly chemical weapons attack. Ban said Wednesday, a United Nation team investigating the alleged chemical attack must be given time to establish the facts. The investigators left their hotel Wednesday, and two anti-regime activists said the team was expected to visit an eastern suburb of the capital, Damascus, affected by the Aug. 21 strike, that the group Doctors Without Borders says killed 355 people.
Syria has denied it was behind the alleged attack and challenged Washington to present proof to back up its accusations. Ban said the team has already ``gathered valuable samples and interviewed victims and witnesses.'' He also urged the United Nations Security Council, whose permanent members are bitterly divided over Syria, not to go ``missing in action'' as the Syria crisis deepens. Ban was speaking in the Great Hall of Justice at the Peace Palace in The Hague, which is marking its 100th anniversary. Without explicitly referring to moves apparently preparing for military action by Washington and its allies, Ban urged a peaceful resolution to Syria's civil war. `Here in the Peace Palace, let us say: Give peace a chance. Give diplomacy a chance. Stop fighting and start talking,'' Ban added.