Ban Ki-moon - AP - 20.10.11
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon Photo by AP
Text size

The UN says it's critical that the Syrian government give the Arab League's observer mission unhindered access and its full cooperation as thousands of protesters take to that country's streets to underscore their defiance of the regime.

Martin Nesirky, spokesman for Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, said Friday that the league efforts to peacefully resolve the crisis in Syria are important.

Nesirky spoke as a deeply divided Security Council has yet to pass a resolution condemning the violence which the UN says has killed more than 5,000 people.

The nearly 100 Arab League monitors are the first that Syria has allowed into the country during the current uprising that began in March.

On Friday, hundreds of thousands of Syrians poured into the streets across the country in the largest protests in months.

Despite the presence of the Arab monitors, Al Jazeera quoted activists as saying that Syrian forces killed at least 32 people on Friday, most of them shot during anti-government protests.