Former UN chief visits New York for Syria talks: UN official

February 29, 2012 10:40 am 

UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 29 — Former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan, who was recently appointed joint UN-Arab League envoy on the Syrian crisis, will arrive in New York on Wednesday for talks with UN chief Ban Ki-moon, a UN official said here on Tuesday.

"Mr. Annan arrives in New York tomorrow to begin talks with the secretary-general," UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe said in his briefing at an open Security Council meeting on the Middle East.

"I hope he will have the opportunity to meet with all members of the council to hear your suggestions on how to bring this terrible situation to an end," Pascoe told the 15-nation council.

Pascoe called the situation in Syria "rapidly deteriorating," as the Syrian government has "manifestly failed to carry out its responsibility to protect its people."

"Unfortunately, the international community has also failed in its duty to stop the carnage, and actions and inaction to date have seemed to encourage the regime in its belief that it has impunity to carry on wanton destruction of its civilians," Pascoe said.

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.

The United Nations recently put the death toll in the Syrian unrest at 6,000, while Damascus says more than 2,000 army and security personnel have been killed during the 11-month turmoil and blames the bloodshed on armed groups backed by foreign powers.(PNA/Xinhua)

FPV/mmg

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