Syrian authorities need to do more to end violence

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Lynn Pascoe

Syrian authorities need to immediately stop using heavy weapons and to withdraw military forces from population centres.

That's what the head of the UN Department of Political Affairs, Lynn Pascoe told the Security Council during a briefing on the Middle East on Monday.

The Syrian government has agreed to stop violence as part of the implementation of a six-point peace plan of the joint special envoy of the UN and Arab League, Kofi Annan.

Mr. Pascoe said the international community is now at what he calls "a pivotal moment" in Syria.

"The cessation of armed violence remains incomplete. Too many lives have been lost. Human rights violations are still perpetrated with impunity. But it is our hope that the deployment of observers will help to stop the killing and consolidate the calm. The objective, however, is clearly not to freeze the situation but to create the conditions for a serious and credible political process."

(Duration: 23")

On Saturday, the Security Council authorized a UN Supervision Mission to Syria (UNSMIS) in response to the Secretary-General's proposal for the deployment of 300 unarmed observers in the country.

There is already an advance team of seven observers on the ground in the country where there's been a year-long protest against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad.

Filed under Today's News.
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