Washington: Emphasising that the humanitarian crisis in Syria is getting worse, US President Barack Obama has stressed on the urgency of a political transition in the country. "Obviously the humanitarian crisis (in Syria) has gotten worse," Obama said on Thursday following his meeting with the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, at the Oval Office of the White House.
"Secretary General Ban and I shared the view that we are at a critical juncture. It is important for us to bring about an effective political transition that would respect the rights of all Syrians. We should try to eliminate some of the carnage that's been taking place directed at civilians and non-combatants," Obama said. He added that United States, which is the largest donor to the humanitarian assistance in Syria and supports moderate elements of the Syrian Opposition, will work with the United Nations to bring about if not a full resolution to the crisis, at least an improvement for the people of Syria and lay the foundation for a political transition that is necessary.
Describing the Syrian situation as "most troubling", Ban said the leaders across the globe should take on much strengthened Syrian leadership. "I have asked President Obama to demonstrate and exercise his stronger leadership in working together with the key partners of the Security Council," he said. "Unfortunately, this crisis, having entered a third year, in the absence of a political solution, we have seen well over 70,000 people were killed and more than 50 per cent of schools, hospitals and all infrastructures have been destroyed," he said.
The UN Chief said that more than 6 million people have been displaced internally along with 1.3 million taken refuge in the neighbouring countries of Syria. "We have been mobilising all possible humanitarian assistance, and I really appreciate President Obama and his government's generous support on this humanitarian assistance," he said.
"On chemical weapons investigation, it's regrettable that the Syrian government has rejected my offer to engage in an investigation. This is my authority in accordance with the General Assembly and Security Council resolutions," Ban said hoping that the Syrian government will allow the investigation team to conduct an investigation. "I have received requests from other UN member states and I have assembled experienced experts as a team. They can be deployed any time soon," Ban said.