UN chief: End to Syrian crisis will also end ISIS

Antonio Guterres told Al Arabiya's sister channel that the Syrian crisis was the hardest test of the United Nation’s impact on the world

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Dubai -- In an exclusive interview with Al Arabiya’s sister channel Al-Hadath in Dubai on Monday, the UN Secretary General said a political solution to the Syrian crisis would lead to the end of ISIS.

Antonio Guterres said that the Syrian crisis was the hardest test of the United Nations' impact on the world and that he sees no end to the refugee crisis in the immediate future.

The secretary general said that the absence of a comprehensive political solution has allowed ISIS to thrive, but he expressed optimism at the Syrian opposition in Riyadh's formation of a delegation to attend peace negotiations.

Speaking on Yemen, Guterres said the Yemeni people are living through “unacceptably” tragic times and that a political solution to the crisis between the government and the Houthi rebels should be “beneficial for all parties.”

He said that Iran's interests should not have an impact on countries in the region.

Iran has been a major player in the Syrian conflict, fighting alongside the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and has been accused by Gulf states of interfering in the Yemeni conflict by arming Houthi militias.

Guterres also said that division among Security Council members has scuttled the Council’s effectiveness in dealing with global crises.

Palestinian conflict

He expressed regret at the the United States' decision on Friday to block the appointment of former Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad as the new UN envoy to Libya.

Speaking on the Israel-Palestinian conflict, Guterres said that the "only solution" is a two-state solution, also objecting to Israeli settlement building on Palestinian land - saying this was an obstacle to peace.

Guterres arrived in Dubai on Monday for the World Government Summit during his regional tour. On Sunday, he was in Saudi Arabia where he met with King Salman and the Saudi foreign minister among other officials.

He told Al-Hadath that his visit to the region, which also focused on the conflicts in Iraq and Libya, was aimed at boosting cooperation with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

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