15 February 2013, 05:03

Conflict in Syria continues to escalate – UN Secretary General

Conflict in Syria continues to escalate – UN Secretary General

The internal armed conflict in Syria continues to escalate, with no foreseeable prospects for a political settlement.

This point of view was expressed on Thursday at a meeting in Washington with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

"The situation is becoming more tragic, without any prospects for a political settlement," - said the head of the United Nations.

To date, the fighting in Syria has claimed "almost 70 thousand people," stressed Ban Ki-moon.

US Secretary of State says toll in Syria may have reached 90,000

US Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday the death toll in Syria may have reached 90,000, citing figures given to him by his Saudi counterpart Prince Saud al-Faisal.

"I had occasion ... to speak this morning with the foreign minister of Saudi Arabia. The first thing he mentioned to me was in his estimate perhaps as many as 90,000 people who have been killed in Syria," Kerry told reporters.

The figure is much higher than estimates given this week by UN rights chief Navi Pillay who said the death toll from the civil war was "nearing 70,000."

The newly appointed top US diplomat said the "desperate humanitarian situation" in Syria would be one of the issues topping a packed agenda for his first meeting at the State Department with UN chief Ban Ki-moon.

Kerry said Wednesday after talks with Jordan's Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh that Washington and Jordan could take renewed steps to urge Syrian ally Russia to bring more pressure on President Bashar al-Assad to quit.

UN and US estimates say more then 750,000 people have fled the country, while a further 2.5 million are displaced internally.

Voice of Russia, TASS, AFP

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