(MENAFN - Arab News) UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said yesterday the Syrian government had the prime responsibility to stop the violence in the country and withdraw its forces from urban areas in line with international mediator Kofi Annan's peace plan.
Ban and Annan, who held 90 minutes of talks in Geneva, issued a statement welcoming the UN Security Council's adoption of a resolution authorizing the sending of an initial team to monitor the cease-fire in Syria and said they would do their best to deploy the monitors "as quickly as possible."
"The secretary-general reiterated that it is the government of Syria which has the primary responsibility to stop the violence and withdraw its forces," the statement said.
World leaders welcomed the resolution which is likely to stop violence. Britain called it a "vital step in supporting the fragile cease-fire."
Foreign Secretary William Hague said in a statement: "It is essential that it begins its work urgently and without impediment. I urge all parties to maintain the cease-fire to allow the monitoring mission to deploy and complete its task.
"The Syrian government must ensure that the monitoring team has freedom of movement and access, and it must not obstruct communication between the monitors and headquarters."
"It is also essential that there are guarantees from the parties on security, without prejudice to the mission's freedom of movement," Hague said.
Meanwhile, a German-owned ship was halted after its owners received information from defectors that it might be carrying weapons bound for Syria, according to a report published yesterday.