UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday demanded an immediate end to the Syrian government's crackdown on civilian protesters that has killed more than 3,000 people since mid-March, according to UN figures.
"Killing civilians must stop immediately in Syria," Ban told a news conference in Tripoli on his first visit to Libya since the eruption in February of the uprising which toppled veteran tyrant Moamer Kadhafi.
Ban's comments came as Arab foreign ministers were to meet in Cairo on Wednesday to step up pressure on Damascus to sign up to a roadmap drawn up by the Arab League for ending more than seven months of bloodshed.
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Syrian officials have said that there is agreement on the plan but League officials say they have yet to receive a formal response from President Bashar al-Assad's regime.
"He must implement the agreement as soon as possible as agreed," Ban said. "People have suffered to much for too long and it's an unacceptable situation."
The Arab League's peace calls for dialogue to take place in Cairo between Syrian government officials and opposition figures, the 22-member pan-Arab bloc's secretary general, Nabil al-Arabi, said on Monday.
It also "calls for withdrawing tanks and all military vehicles to bring an immediate end to the violence and give assurances to the Syrian street," he added.