U.N.'s Ban urges Assad to seek political solution to Syria crisis

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U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged President Bashar al-Assad to seek a political solution to Syria's war, saying this would help international efforts against Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq, al-Hayat newspaper reported on Wednesday. In an interview with the pan-Arab daily, Ban said years of war between Assad's forces and armed rebel groups had allowed militants such as Islamic State to take root in the region. Asked whether Assad would have any role to play in an international coalition being assembled to fight Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, the U.N. chief said Assad could contribute by working politically towards an end to the war in his country.