U.N. Chief: Refer Syrian Crisis to Criminal Court
On Monday, the U.N. secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon called for the first time for the situation in Syria to be referred to the International Criminal Court, as world leaders including U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin were addressing a global gathering, with the conflict taking center stage, AP reports.
Ban said five countries “hold the key” to a political solution to Syria: Russia, the U.S., Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran. He said “innocent Syrians pay the price of more barrel bombs and terrorism,” and there must be no impunity for “atrocious” crimes.
The U.N. chief insisted on a political solution to the civil war in Syria, now well into its fifth year with more than a quarter of a million people killed.
Obama ‘Prepared to Work’ with Russia, Iran on Syria
President Obama declared on Monday that the United States is prepared to work with Russia and Iran on the Syrian crisis, AFP reports.
“The United States is prepared to work with any nation, including Russia and Iran, to resolve the conflict,” Obama said of Syria, addressing the United Nations General Assembly.
Obama argued it would be wrong to support a “tyrant” like Assad, but that Washington was ready to work with anyone ready to take on the jihadist threat, even Moscow and the U.S’s traditional foe, Tehran.
At U.N., Obama and Putin Trade Blunt Criticisms Over Syria
The leaders of the United States and Russia traded blunt criticisms on Monday at the United Nations, essentially blaming each other for the catastrophic war in Syria and the refugee crisis it helped to spawn.
Obama made a forceful defense of diplomacy, but also castigated Russia by name multiple times in his speech for its defense of the Syrian government.
Putin, on the other hand, extolled the virtues of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, saying he represented stability and that his forces needed support to fight Islamic State extremists now threatening the region – even though the Syrian leader’s forces are for the most part fighting rebel groups dedicated to his removal, not Islamic State militants.
Top image: President of the General Assembly, Mogens Lykketoft, right, of Denmark, talks with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon before he addresses the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
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