UN chief says Syrian govt must stop violence, withdraw forces

GENEVA, April 14 Sat Apr 14, 2012 1:23pm EDT

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GENEVA, April 14 (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Saturday the Syrian government had the prime responsibility to stop the violence in the country and withdraw its forces from urban areas in line with international mediator Kofi Annan's peace plan.

Ban and Annan, who held 90 minutes of talks in Geneva, issued a statement welcoming the U.N. Security Council's adoption of a resolution authorising the sending of an initial team to monitor the ceasefire in Syria and said they would do their best to deploy the monitors "as quickly as possible".

"The Secretary-General reiterated that it is the government of Syria which has the primary responsibility to stop the violence and withdraw its forces," the statement said.

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