February 8, 2012 / 12:41 PM / 7 years ago

U.N. rights chief says action on Syria urgent

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Wednesday the Arab League chief had told him he intended to revive an Arab League monitoring mission in Syria, which has collapsed amid charges that Damascus is not cooperating with it.

Nabil Elaraby had asked for U.N. help with the project during a telephone conversation on Tuesday, Ban told reporters after briefing the U.N. Security Council on a visit he has just paid to the Middle East.

Elaraby had further proposed a joint U.N.-Arab League observer mission, including a joint special envoy, for Syria, where a harsh crackdown on an 11-month-old uprising has left thousands dead, according to U.N. figures. Ban said the United Nations was ready to help, but no decision had been taken.

Elaraby “informed me that he intends to send the Arab League observer mission back to Syria and asked for U.N. help,” the U.N. chief said.

Reporting By Patrick Worsnip; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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