UN chief disappointed by Syrian President's speech

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

The speech by Syrian President Bashar al Assad on Sunday in which he, Assad rejected the idea of the formation of a transitional government, has disappointed United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

In a statement issued on Monday, Mr. Ban says that he and the joint envoy of the UN and the Arab League, Lakhdar Brahimi, have worked and continue to work to find a solution to the conflict in Syria.

That solution, he adds, is through a political transition that includes the establishment of a transitional government and the holding of free and fair elections under the auspices of the United Nations.

UN Spokesperson Martin Nesirky says what the Syrian people desperately need at this time are real solutions to the crisis that is tearing their nation apart.

"In this regard, the Secretary-General was disappointed that the speech by President Bashar al Assad on 6 January does not contribute to a solution that could end the terrible suffering of the Syrian people. The speech rejected the most important element of the Geneva Communiqué of 30 June 2012, namely a political transition and the establishment of a transitional governing body with full executive powers that would include representatives of all Syrians." (Duration: 28")

Nesirky says the Secretary-General reaffirms his long-held view that there is no military solution to the conflict in Syria.

It is estimated that 60,000 people have been killed in the conflict which started almost two years ago as a protest against the rule of President Bashar al Assad and has evolved into a civil war.

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations.

Duration: 1’44″

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