Ban says Geneva deal must end "appalling" Syria suffering

US Secretary of State John Kerry (left) and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov talk to the media, following meetings regarding Syria, at a news conference in Geneva, Switzerland on Saturday Sept 14, 2013.  UN leader Ban Ki Moon on Satur
US Secretary of State John Kerry (left) and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov talk to the media, following meetings regarding Syria, at a news conference in Geneva, Switzerland on Saturday Sept 14, 2013.  UN leader Ban Ki Moon on Saturday welcomed a Russian-US deal on Syria’s chemical weapons but said it must be a stepping stone to ending the “appalling suffering” of Syrians, a spokeswoman said. -- PHOTO: AP 

UNITED NATIONS, United States (AFP) - UN leader Ban Ki Moon on Saturday welcomed a Russian-US deal on Syria’s chemical weapons but said it must be a stepping stone to ending the “appalling suffering” of Syrians, a spokeswoman said. 

Mr Ban pledges UN support to implementing the accord reached by Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry, said a UN spokeswoman Vannina Maestracci.

“The secretary general expresses his fervent hope that the agreement will, first, prevent any future use of chemical weapons in Syria and, second, help pave the path for a political solution to stop the appalling suffering inflicted on the Syrian people,” she added.

Mr Ban said before the deal was announced that a peace conference could be held in October if all sides agreed.

He had also expressed skepticism that Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad would keep to any plan drawn up to put his banned chemical arms under international control.

Mr Kerry and Mr Lavrov agreed however that the UN Security Council should pass a resolution that would impose measures under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, which allows use of force, if Assad breaches the accord.