Ban: Conference to bring political solution to Syria coming soon
"It is my sincere hope that we can convene an international conference on Syria as soon as possible to help parties come to the negotiating table," Ban said in a joint press conference on Friday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Lavrov met last week to discuss how they can work together towards achieving a political solution in Syria. Ban said although a date has not yet been solidified, it will happen as soon as possible to maintain the momentum generated by the leaders.
"There is a high expectation that this meeting should be held as soon as possible," Ban said.
Since March 2011, over 70,000 lives have been claimed by the crisis in Syria, in an attempt to oust President Bashar Al-Assad. With this, over 1.5 million have fled the country and some 6.8 million are in need. Ban acknowledged the economic and security implications this has had for other countries in the region aiding refugees, such as Lebanon and Jordan.
"The crisis in Syria is first and foremost on our minds," Ban said. "I am deeply concerned about the ongoing violence and the terrible impact on millions of civilians."