UN director calls for political solution for Syria

Sunday 17 March 2013 17.48
John Ging said the conflict will be prolonged if the rebels get arms from Britain and France
John Ging said the conflict will be prolonged if the rebels get arms from Britain and France

The Operations Director of the United Nations Office for Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs, John Ging, has called for a redoubling of efforts to find a political solution to end the Syrian civil war.

Speaking on RTÉ's This Week, Mr Ging said the solution to the crisis will be a political one and not a military one.

Mr Ging, who recently visited Syria, said if Britain and France succeed in lifting the embargo on the supply of weapons to the rebels, it will prolong the conflict.

He said the war is a catastrophe for the Syrian people, millions of whom are displaced.

Mr Ging said the infrastructure inside Syria has collapsed and fleeing refugees were now putting great strain on neighbouring countries.

At least 70,000 people have been killed in the two-year conflict.

Elsewhere, Syrian rebel fighters seized a Syrian military intelligence compound near Golan Heights.

The compound in the town of Shagara, 8kms from a ceasefire line with Israel, fell after a five-day siege.