UN calls for cease-fire in Syria during Ramadan

UNITED NATIONS, July 9 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday urged all parties in Syria to stop fighting and offer one-month peace to the war-torn country during Ramadan, the holiest month in Muslim calendar.
   In an appeal released by his spokesperson, Ban called on all parties in Syria, for the sake of the Syrian people, to respect the religious obligation of Ramadan, a holy month of patience, charity and forgiveness, when wars are supposed to stop.

"I am calling for every military unit of the regular army and the Free Syrian Army, for every person holding a gun, to stop fighting and offer this month of peace as a collective present to their people - and to do so across Syria," Ban said in the appeal.

  "Every day brings more death and destruction," he said, referring to the Syrian civil war which began in March 2011 between the government and opposition groups seeking to oust President Bashar Al-Assad, and has already left more than 93,000 people killed and over 1.7 million people fled abroad.

  "What is needed is a peaceful Syrian-led political solution for a democratic future in which all Syrians live in security, equality and dignity," said the appeal. In preparation for a successful Peace Conference, the Syrians themselves should "use the holy month of Ramadan of the Year 1434 in the Islamic Calendar to make a symbolic but powerful contribution to open the way to the solution of the crisis in their country," Ban noted. "A clear message must be sent that yet more violence is not the way," the UN chief said. "The Syrian people deserve no less."

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