Ban Ki-moon warns that Syria will fall apart without negotiated peace

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned this week that Syria will fall apart if a negotiated peace isn't reached between its government and rebels.

Ban said that, following two years of conflict that have seen more than 70,000 casualties, the situation is deteriorating by day and that chances for peace talks were now slim, reports.

"This is a very small window of opportunity which we strongly support and encourage them to use that. The opportunity may soon close," Ban said at a news conference in Geneva, according to

The Syrian government has signaled an increasing willingness to hold talks with rebels, with Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem saying on Monday that the government would speak to armed rebels.

Syria also extended passport terms for Syrian nationals abroad on Thursday, which was a condition set by the opposition prior to them agreeing to talks.

"I continue to urge the Syrian parties to find their way to the negotiating table," Ban said, reports. "The horrors of the last months and years prove beyond doubt: the military solution in Syria is leading to the dissolution of Syria.

"The Security Council must no longer stand as a silent witness to the slaughter.

"At long last, it must come together and establish the parameters for the democratic transition that might be the last best hope for saving Syria."