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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Notes to correspondents

Note to correspondents on Syria

New York, 18 May 2012

The following is a transcript of remarks made by the Secretary-General to a small group of reporters today:

The recent terrorist attacks in Damascus suggest that these attacks were carefully orchestrated. Having seen the scale and sophistication of these terrorist attacks, one might think that this terrorist attack was done by a certain group with organization and clear intent. I have strongly condemned these terrorist attacks. At this time it is important that both the government and opposition forces and any other parties fully cooperate with the 6-point peace proposal submitted by Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan. The UN is accelerating the deployment of the monitoring mission. We are almost reaching the authorized 300 monitors. It may be realized very soon. With this deployment of 300 monitors and some civilian staff, we hope that this will contribute to realizing the complete cessation of violence by all sides. It is important so that inclusive political dialogue can start for political resolution of this issue. And there are other proposals which are on the table. All these 6 points should be implemented in their entirety. The UN is strongly committed to realizing these as soon as possible.

Question: If this is a 3rd element on the ground – terrorists or possibly al Qaida as you suggested yesterday – how does that complicate the UN mission?

Answer: We are still trying to investigate who are these third forces behind this terrorist attack in Damascus. All these kinds of terrorist attacks and all violence must stop, first and foremost. I am concerned that may also affect the ongoing monitoring mission. I hope we will never see this kind of a terrorist attack. At the same time, I am also concerned that this is a situation which has been taking place in neighboring countries like Lebanon. I sincerely hope that Syrian authorities will fully cooperate in implementing the 6-point proposals. And I also urge strongly that the opposition forces will fully cooperate with the 6-point proposals.