"Meaningful negotiations" needed on Syria crisis

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Ban Ki-moon (right) meets with Staffan de Mistura. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

The UN Secretary-General has urged "meaningful negotiations" to bring an end to four years of civil war in Syria.

Around 220,000 people have died in the country and a further four million have fled as refugees.

Daniel Dickinson reports.

Speaking at the National Press Club in Washington DC, the UN chief, Ban Ki-moon said the warring parties in Syria had shown little or no willingness to stop the fighting.

He announced that he was sending his Special Envoy, Staffan de Mistura, to hold a series of talks in Geneva in the coming weeks to identify who, if anyone, was truly serious about engaging in meaningful negotiations to end what he called "this nightmare."

The Secretary-General also made a special plea on behalf of the 18,000 Palestinians besieged in the Yarmouk refugee camp, south of the Syrian capital, Damascus.

He said they are caught between the military machine of the government and the brutality of extremist groups and that their suffering is largely out of the spotlight.

Mr. Ban urged the world to do more to save what he described as "these vulnerable thousands"

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations.

Duration: 1’00″

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