Secretary-General welcomes upcoming meeting on Syria

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks to the press in Madrid, Spain. UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

The UN Secretary-General has said he is encouraged that leaders from five "critically important" countries will meet this week to address the ongoing crisis in Syria.

Foreign Ministers from the United States and several Middle Eastern and European countries will hold talks in Vienna on Friday.

Nearly five years of fighting in Syria has killed more than 250,000 people and displaced millions more, both inside and outside the country.

Dianne Penn reports.

The UN chief said he was "glad" that global leaders are coming together to discuss the Syrian conflict.

Ban Ki-moon's comments came during a press conference in Madrid where he has been attending commemorations of Spain's 60th anniversary as a UN Member State.

"As you may recall, on September 28th, in my report addressed to the General Assembly, I emphasized the importance of resolving this issue through political means and I raised the idea of very critically important five countries – namely, United States, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Turkey. Those five countries – they should meet together as soon as possible. I am glad that they are now meeting. I sincerely hope that they will really address this issue, with a sense of flexibility, whatever differences they may have in their political views; in their approaches – they should be united." 

The Secretary-General recalled that there have been many attempts to resolve the Syrian crisis, yet the situation continues to deteriorate.

He expressed hope that the meeting will bring "some good results" for the country. 

UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, will represent the Secretary-General at the Vienna conference.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1'35"

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