UN chief and President Obama say Syria is at a "critical juncture"

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Ban Ki-moon and Barack Obama

The situation in Syria is at a critical juncture and there is need for a political transition to respect the rights of all Syrians.

That's what President Barack Obama said after meeting with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the White House on Thursday.

President Obama told reporters that he and the Secretary-General discussed a number of issues.

"We started with Syria where obviously the humanitarian crisis has gotten worse and Secretary-General Ban and I share the view that we are at a critical juncture and that it is important for us to bring an effective political transition that will respect the rights of all Syrians.”

The UN Secretary-General described Syria as "the most troubling situation" which requires the strengthened leadership of all world leaders.

"I have asked President Obama to demonstrate and exercise his stronger leadership in working together with the key partners of the Security Council. As the Secretary-General, I have been working very closely with the Joint Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi and I will continue to do that."

Secretary-General Ban said it is unfortunate that the crisis in Syria has entered its third year.

In the absence of a political solution, he added, more than 70,000 people have been killed and over 50 per cent of schools, hospitals and other infrastructure destroyed.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.


Duration; 1'32"

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