Ban Ki-Moon in Syria peace drive at G20 summit
Russia warns US military action would probably derail plans for talks resumption
Secretary general of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon arrives in Russia ahead of the G20 summit. Photograph: Alexey Kudenko/RIA Novosti via Getty Images
“While the world is focused on concerns about the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria we must push even harder for the international conference on Syria to take place in Geneva,” the UN chief said in an e-mailed statement today.
US military action against Syria would probably derail plans for a resumption of peace talks in Geneva, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday.
The US canceled a planned meeting with Russia last month aimed at preparing for the conference proposed by the two countries. Russia is in disagreement with the US over accusations that its Soviet-era ally Syria used chemical weapons against civilians. Mr Obama is seeking approval from Congress to attack Syria with punitive strikes, which Russia says would violate international law and amount to an act of aggression.
Mr Brahimi will probably attend a meeting tomorrow of G-20 foreign ministers, Mr Ban’s spokesman, Martin Nesirky, said.
The European Union supports a political solution to the more than 2 1/2-year conflict in Syria, which has killed more than 100,000 people, European Commission president Jose Barroso said today in St. Petersburg.
“We need to forge a consensus in the international community on how to respond to the latest developments and also on how to put an end to this conflict,” Barroso told reporters.
“This abhorrent situation remains a stain on the world’s conscience.”