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Syria calls UN efforts to end crisis "completely inexplicable"

(Xinhua)

13:14, March 03, 2012


UNITED NATIONS, March 2 (Xinhua) -- Syria's UN ambassador Bashar Ja'afari on Friday called UN efforts to end the Syrian crisis "completely inexplicable" and said that the Syrian government accepted "in principle" of a visit by the UN humanitarian chief.

Ja'afari told a General Assembly plenary meeting on the situation in Syria that the "duplicity of these efforts on the part of the United Nations are completely inexplicable."

On access to Syria by Valerie Amos, the UN emergency relief coordinator and under-secretary general for humanitarian affairs, Ja'afari said that the Syrian government accepted "in principle" of her visit and "requested a date for the visit."

Amos has been attempting to enter Syria per the request of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who asked her to visit the country and evaluate the humanitarian situation there.

On Wednesday, Amos said that she was "deeply disappointed" that she has not yet been able to visit Syria to assess the humanitarian situation and meet with some of the country's top officials.

During the plenary meeting, Ban provided an oral report to the UN General Assembly on the implementation of the Assembly's resolution passed on Feb. 16, which supports the Arab League (AL) plan for political transition in Syria and calls on the AL and UN to appoint an envoy to the country.

Ja'afari called the resolution "unilateral and subjective."

"Syria has taken great strides, very quickly in very little time in order to out in place a comprehensive national reform program to meet the legitimate expectations of the people," he said. "These are legitimate demands of the people."

He said "reforms are an ongoing process and that's why demands for reform are legitimate no matter where they take place no matter when they take place."

"The reform program was crowned with the adoption of a new constitution; this is a constitution that guarantees the establishment of a Syrian democratic state based on the defense of basic rights, fundamental rights, the rule of law, and it determines the mandate of the president of the republic," Ja'afari said.

He expressed "sadness" because the secretary-general "omitted this important development."

He also said that the Syrian government "has continued to invite the various factions to participate in a dialogue."

"All Syrians regardless of their background or their political tendencies have been invited to participate in a national dialogue so that the aspirations of the Syrian people can be brought about but some countries in the region, some countries in the Arab League, and some other countries who are well known have attempted in vain to convince and push the opposition not to sit at the negotiating table and have tried to push the opposition not to lay down their arms," he said.

Meanwhile, Kofi Annan, the newly appointed joint special envoy for Syria on behalf of the United Nations and the Arab League (AL), said on Thursday that he had reached consensus with Ban and the five permanent members (P5) of the Security Council that a mediation process including all political factions in Syria should be started as soon as possible.

Annan will begin his mission on March 7 with a visit to the AL headquarters in Cairo, AL chief Nabil al-Arabi said on Thursday.

Annan is seeking a visit to Syria, and will also travel to other countries affecting the Syrian crisis in a bid to find a solution, said al-Arabi.

Since the unrest broke out in Syria last March, the number of casualties in the conflict has been rising steadily amid unrelenting clashes and fights between government forces and opposition fighters.

Ban said on Friday in his oral report to the General Assembly on Syria that credible reports suggest that the total number of people killed since March last year is well above 7,500, including many women and children.

Meanwhile Damascus says that more than 2,000 army and security personnel have been killed during the 11-months turmoil and blamed the bloodshed on armed groups backed by foreign powers.

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