Ban Ki moon welcomes Paris march against terrorism

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United Nations, Jan 12:  UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday welcomed the march in Paris, held in memory of the victims of last week's terrorist attacks in France and to protest against terrorism anywhere in the world.

Ban, in a statement issued by his spokesperson, renewed his condolences to the families of the victims of the attacks on the Charlie Hebdo magazine and a kosher supermarket, and of the policewoman who was murdered in Paris, according to a Xinhua report.

Ban welcomes Paris march

A massive march was held on Sunday in the French capital, in which about 1.5 million people were known to have participated, apart from world leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, French President Francois Hollande and others.

Staffan de Mistura, the UN secretary general's special envoy, represented the UN at the march and expressed the world body's revulsion for terrorism.

According to the statement, Ban was deeply moved by the images from the march and the displays of global solidarity over the past few days.

"He is strongly committed to the essential work of countering extremism, fighting anti-Semitism and other forms of discrimination, and upholding the rights to freedom of speech and expression," the statement said.

The UN secretary general called for "heightened efforts" to promote tolerance and understanding.

"The world must address this violence and division in ways that do not exacerbate the problems and that ensure respect for human rights and the rule of law," Ban said.

In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in France, Ban warned against targeting Muslims in retaliation.

"Such unwarranted bias would only play into the hands of (the) terrorists and contribute to the spiral of violence," he said.

IANS

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