UNITED NATIONS, May 8 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon on Wednesday welcomed the understandings reached by Russia and the United States to resolve the Syrian conflict.
"The secretary-general warmly welcomes the announcement on Syria by Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov and United States Secretary of State Kerry in Moscow yesterday," said a statement issued here by Ban's spokesperson.
Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday after talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that Moscow and Washington "have always been in favor of a political solution, the inadmissibility of Syria's break-up ... This was fixed in Geneva." The foreign minister also said the United States and Russia "do not differ greatly" on the issue.
Kerry, for his part, said the Geneva Communique should not be treated simply as a piece of paper, but "as a road map to a new Syria without violence." He proposed holding an international conference on Syria by the end of May that would be attended by representatives of the regime and the opposition.
The UN chief and Lakhdar Brahimi, Joint Special Representative of the United Nations and the Arab League for Syria, "have asserted from the outset their conviction that a negotiated political solution is the only way to end this prolonged and ever- deepening crisis," said Ban's statement.
"The goal should be clear to all it must be an end to violence, a clean break from the past and a transition to a new Syria in which the rights of all communities are protected and the legitimate aspirations of all the people in Syria for freedom, dignity and justice are met," the statement said.
According to UN, some 4.25 million people have been displaced with more than 1.4 million of them seeking refuge in neighboring countries from a conflict that has killed over 70,000 people since the Syrian crisis broke out in March 2011 and later descended into violence.
The UN estimates that some 6.8 million people inside Syria are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance - nearly half of them children.