Geneva deal must end 'appalling' Syria suffering: Ban Ki-moon

AFP , Saturday 14 Sep 2013

UN secretary-general suggests Syrian deal could pave the way for peace conference in October

UN leader Ban Ki-moon on Saturday welcomed a Russian-US deal on Syria's chemical weapons, but said it must be a stepping stone to ending the "appalling suffering" of Syrians, a spokeswoman said.

Ban Ki-moon pledged UN support to implementing the accord reached by Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry, said UN spokeswoman Vannina Maestracci.

"The secretary-general expresses his fervent hope that the agreement will, first, prevent any future use of chemical weapons in Syria and, second, help pave the path for a political solution to stop the appalling suffering inflicted on the Syrian people," she added.

Ban Ki-moon said before the deal was announced that a peace conference could be held in October if all sides agreed.

He had also expressed skepticism that Syria's President Bashar al-Assad would keep to any plan drawn up to put his banned chemical arms under international control.

Kerry and Lavrov agreed however that the UN Security Council should pass a resolution that would impose measures under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, which allows use of force, if Assad breaches the accord.

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