U.N. chief says Syria challenges are not insurmountable

by Reuters
Wednesday, 22 January 2014 09:27 GMT

MONTREUX, Switzerland, Jan 22 (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged the Syria peace conference that began in Switzerland on Wednesday to make every effort to resolve the conflict.

"Great challenges lie ahead but they are not insurmountable," he said in his opening remarks.

He also called on government and rebels to allow "immediate and full humanitarian access to all communities in need".

"Hundreds of thousands of people have been cut off from any assistance for months, with disturbing reports of malnutrition and desperate health conditions. Food and medical and surgical equipment must be allowed in; the sick and wounded people must be allowed out," he said. "The disaster is now all-encompassing."

(Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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