Ban says violent actions must be stopped by both sides in Syria

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Thursday that the military and violent actions must be stopped by both Bashar al-Assad's Syrian regime and the Syrian opposition.

Ban spoke on Thursday prior to his meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in New York. Ban said that he will soon have access to a report from the leader of his chemical weapons investigation team, Ake Sellström.

"As you may know, the head of the chemical weapons investigation team, Dr. (Ake) Sellström, and my high representative for disarmament, Angela Kane, have just visited Syria (and) are meeting senior officials of the Syrian government to discuss the modalities of the investigation," Ban said. "I will get the report, since they are coming out of Syria now; we will get the report soon."

Ban said that he and Kerry would discuss the situation in Syria which resulted in the deaths of more than 100,000 people. He said both parties must stop the violence and join an upcoming peace conference in Geneva.

"Military and violent actions must be stopped by both parties, and it is thus imperative to have a peace conference in Geneva as soon as possible, as was initiated by Secretary Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister (Sergey) Lavrov," Ban said. "Joint Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi and I will spare no effort to convene this meeting as soon as possible."