UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called on Syria’s warring sides to resume dialog after the suspension of the UN-brokered peace talks between the parties.
“The coming days should be used to get back to the table, not to secure more gains on the battlefield,” Ban told an international donor conference entitled “Supporting Syria & The Region” in London on Thursday.
The UN chief further underscored the need for negotiations as the only way to resolve the foreign-sponsored conflict gripping Syria.
“The situation is not sustainable. We cannot go on like this. There is no military solution. Only political dialogue will rescue the Syrian people from their intolerable suffering,” he added.
The remarks came one day after Staffan de Mistura, the UN special envoy for Syria, announced a halt to the Syria peace talks in the Swiss city of Geneva until February 25, arguing there was “more work to be done.”
Syria’s ambassador to the UN, Bashar al-Jaafari, who has represented the Syrian government in the peace negotiations, blamed the opposition for the “failure” of the Geneva discussions.
“It is deeply disturbing that the initial steps of the talks have been undermined by the continuous lack of sufficient humanitarian access, and by a sudden increase of aerial bombing and military activities within Syria,” the UN chief said.
Meanwhile, an international donor conference for Syria, co-hosted by Britain, Germany, Norway, Kuwait and the UN, started in London on Thursday.
World leaders along with officials from international organizations, aid agencies and civic groups are meeting with an urgent plea for USD 7.73 billion to cope with the Syrian emergency this year plus USD 1.2 billion to fund national response plans by countries in the region.
The conference will focus particularly on the need to provide better access to education and jobs for refugees in Syria and neighboring states.
The Syrian conflict, which began in March 2011, has reportedly claimed the lives of more than 260,000 people, and displaced almost eight million others.