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March 12, 2014 AT 7:23 AM
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appealed to Russia and the United States on Wednesday to help revive stalled peace talks aimed at ending Syria's three-year-old civil war, saying it was time to put an end to the bloodshed that has torn Syria apart. In a statement issued on the third anniversary of the Syrian uprising, Ban's press office said, "Syria is now the biggest humanitarian and peace and security crisis facing the world, with violence reaching unthinkable levels. Syria's neighbors are bearing the increasingly unbearable humanitarian, security, political and socio-economic effects of this conflict." With the Syrian conflict now entering a fourth year this week and more people fleeing the war, the United Nations has warned that Syrians are about to replace Afghans as the world's largest refugee population.