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UN's Ban “deeply disappointed” over Syria resolution

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressed on Friday "deep disappointment" over the Security Council's failure to agree on a resolution on Syria, Slovenian media reported as he visited the country.

"The Security Council failed to reach agreement yesterday [Thursday], but today we must keep trying for the sake of the Syrian people and the wider region," Slovenia's state news agency STA cited him as saying.

"[International envoy] Kofi Annan and I will press ahead to try to end the violence and abuses in Syria. We cannot abandon our collective responsibility to enable a peaceful, democratic Syrian-led transition that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people," Ban said.

Russia and China on Thursday vetoed a resolution on Syria for the third time, sparking outrage by the Western nations which demanded sanctions against President Bashar al-Assad.

The United States said it would now act outside of the UN body to confront Assad, as Russia's ambassador to the UN said that Western nations wanted to use the resolution to justify "external military involvement."

Diplomatic tensions were set to be fanned further on Friday when the Security Council rules on the status of 300 UN monitors whose mandate to oversee the implementation of Syria's tattered peace ends later in the day.

Ban was in Slovenia on the first stop of a Balkan tour that is to include the first visit by a UN chief to the site of the 1995 massacre in Bosnia's UN-protected enclave of Srebrenica and to Kosovo since it declared independence in 2008.

-AFP

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