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UN Chief Criticizes Syria For Killings, Abuses


Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem speaks at the UN General Assembly on October 1.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has criticized the Syrian government for killings, rights abuses, and failing to curb military attacks.

Ban's spokesman said that the UN chief, during a meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, expressed frustration that the 18-month conflict was getting worse.

"The secretary-general raised in the strongest terms the continued killings, massive destruction, human rights abuses, and aerial and artillery attacks committed by the government," spokesman Martin Nesirky said. "He stressed that it was the Syrian people who were being killed everyday, and he appealed to the government of Syria to show compassion to its own people."

Nesirky said Ban and Moualem discussed "the growing humanitarian crisis inside Syria, which was spilling over into neighboring countries to an alarming degree."

During his speech to the UN General Assembly on October 1, Moualem accused the United States, France, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey of supporting "terrorism" in Syria by backing the rebels.

Moualem said there could only be peace when those countries stopped arming and financing the opposition.

He also said calls for President Bashar al-Assad to step down were a "blatant interference" in Syrian domestic affairs.

"The Syrian people are the only party authorized to choose their own future and the shape of their own state that accommodates all groups and spectrums of the Syrian people, including those who were deceived and chose the wrong way," Moualem said. "The Syrian people are the one to choose their leadership through the ballot box, which represents the most important way of democracy and expression."

Moualem called for a political solution and Syrian-led dialogue to agree on a road map to "a more pluralistic and democratic Syria." He invited the opposition to "work together to stop the shedding of Syrian blood."

However, Radwan Ziadeh, a spokesperson for the Syrian National Council opposition group, said it was impossible to believe Moualem's calls for political dialogue were genuine as the regime's "air force is attacking civilians in each city."

With reporting by Reuters and AP
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