07/07/2012, 00.00
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Ban Ki-moon searches for a political solution to Syrian crisis

The Secretary general proposes to replace the UN military observers with a "civilian" mission. For Clinton China and Russia "must pay a price" for their support for Assad, who suffered a severe blow with the abandonment of a loyal general from Republican Guard.

Beirut (AsiaNews) - UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon is proposing to replace the mission of military observers in Syria - designed to monitor a nonexistent ceasefire - with a civil mission.  The aim is to find a political solution to the conflict and deal with issues such as human rights. He advanced this idea yesterday to the Security Council, due to be discussed next Wednesday and voted on July 18.

The Ban Ki-moon proposal is to a certain extent the formal admission of the futility of the mission of 300 military observers - the deployment of which was part of the peace plan drawn up by Kofi Annan .  But it is likely to prove impossible to put into action with the predictable veto of the opposing domestic and international sides in.

In fact yesterday at the Paris summit of the "Friends of Syria" (in the photo, the meeting in Tunis) more than 100 states approved a motion that calls for new UN sanctions against the government Damascus, excluding the possibility that President Assad be part of the transition to peace and also the use of force or threat to use it.

On the sidelines of this meeting, U.S Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that China and Russia "must pay a price" for their defense of the regime in Damascus. A statement defined "unfair" by the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Gennady Gatilov.

On the domestic front, the defection of Tlas Manaf, the Republican Guard general - considered loyal to Assad - and a personal friend of Syrian President is causing great commotion. For the French Foreign Minister Lauren Fabius the incident shows that even in the narrower circle of Assad supporters are beginning to realise "you can not sustain a butcher." (PD)



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