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UN's Ban warns of "tragic consequences" over action in Syria

06 September 2013 21:15

UN says its Secretary General and Syria Envoy Brahimi continue to push for a political solution

UNITED NATIONS (AA) - Military action against the Syrian government could have "tragic consequences," UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has said.

“I must warn that ill-considered military action could cause serious and tragic consequences, and with an increased threat of further sectarian violence,” Ban said on Friday in his remarks at a panel on humanitarian assistance to Syria held on the margins of the G20 economic summit.

“We should explore ways to avoid further militarization of the conflict and revitalize the search for a political settlement instead," he said.

The UN statement on G-20 said Ban and joint UN-Arab League Envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, reiterated to leaders attending the summit the need to “push even harder” for a political solution to end the bloodshed in the war-torn Middle Eastern country.

“This is a humanitarian crisis of unprecedented proportions in recent history. The world must do everything within its powers to stop the suffering of the Syrian people," Ban said. 

- Geneva conference "at risk"

Lakhdar Brahimi, spoke to journalists after a bilateral meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, where he said the planned international conference on Syria, dubbed 'Geneva-II', was "at risk" after the August 21 chemical weapons attack in Syria.

On a possible US-led response to the attack, Brahimi said neither he nor UN Secretary-General express their own opinions, but "adhere to international law, according to which a military action without UN Security Council authorization is unacceptable."

President Obama had earlier said he was "comfortable" to go ahead with plans of international operation in Syria without authorization from a "paralyzed" United Nations Security Council.