European Council president urges U.N. to take action on Syria

Herman Van Rompuy, the president of the European Council, pleaded on Wednesday for the U.N. Security Council to adopt a clear resolution on Syria and stop the violence in the unstable region.

Van Rompuy made the speech during a high-level debate at the U.N. General Assembly. He said the U.N. plays an indispensable role in securing and destroying Syria's chemical weapons.

"(The international community) absolutely must avoid a dreadful precedent being set on the use of chemical weapons - an abhorrent crime against humanity," Van Rompuy said. "It is urgent for the Security Council, together with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, to take the necessary decisions to ensure the swift and secure destruction of Syria's poison gas and nerve agent stocks."

Van Rompuy said that a breakthrough on chemical weapons represented an important opening politically.

"In the black wall of Syria's doom, it will be a first crack," Van Rompuy said.

Van Rompuy urged continued work toward the Geneva II meeting, which could serve as a political settlement in Syria. He also noted the difficult process of Syrian reconciliation.

"The European Union is ready to provide all support needed to achieve a political settlement," Van Rompuy said. "No longer waging war is one thing, living again together quite another."