Syrian truce called for Muslim holy day

July 30, 2013 at 11:42 AM
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JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia, July 30 (UPI) -- The Arab League and Organization of Islamic Cooperation said Tuesday warring factions in Syria should lay down their weapons for an upcoming Muslim holy day.

Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr next week, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan. OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu and Arab League Secretary-General Nabil al-Arabi called for an Aug. 9 cease-fire in Syria to honor the holy day.

They issued a joint statement, published by the official Saudi Press Agency, "calling on all regional and international parties to support this appeal of cease-fire, and urge the Syrian government to show wisdom and stop the killing and destruction in order to address all issues by peaceful means."

Both sides to the conflict are suspected of committing human rights violations during a conflict that began in early 2011. The United Nations estimates more than 100,000 Syrians have died as a result of the war.

Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, chairman of an international commission of inquiry on Syria, said it was no longer enough to express shock over the "litany of violations" in the country.

He told members of the U.N. General Assembly the international community has a moral obligation to find a diplomatic solution to the crisis.

"It is time to do what you must to bring Syria to a just and lasting peace," he said in a statement.

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