News

    Israeli, Syrian Foreign Ministers Address UN

    The foreign ministers of Israel and Syria addressed the U.N. General Assembly Monday as the annual debate resumed for a fifth day. Israel's foreign minister called for further sanctions against Iran for its nuclear activities, while Syria said it is time for Israel to expose its own nuclear program to international scrutiny. From U.N. headquarters in New York, VOA's Margaret Besheer has more.

    Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni called for tougher U.N. action against Iran, saying its nuclear ambitions are "sinister" and its government is a major source of regional instability.

    "No responsible state disagrees that Iran is the most prominent sponsor of terrorism," said Tzipi Livni. "It is a major source of instability and conflict in Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine and across the entire Middle East, and it is the enemy of Arab-Israeli co-existence."

    In comments apparently directed at Security Council members China and Russia, Livni criticized countries that have blocked tougher measures against Iran, saying their inaction calls into question the very relevance of the United Nations.

    "What is the value, we have to ask, of an organization which is unable to take effective action in the face of a direct assault on the very principles it was founded to protect?", she said.

    China and Russia - which both have Security Council veto powers - have resisted further sanctions against Iran, despite Tehran's unwillingness to comply with U.N. demands that it halt its uranium enrichment activities.

    On Friday, the five permanent Security Council members plus Germany announced they agreed to put off until November discussions on a third U.N. sanctions resolution against Iran.

    Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moualem did not directly mention ally Iran in his remarks, but said Damascus stresses the right of all countries to freely acquire nuclear technologies for peaceful purposes.

    He added that Syria supports the elimination of all weapons of mass destruction from the Middle East, and he called on Israel to submit its nuclear program to international scrutiny.

    "We believe that it is necessary to compel Israel, the sole party in the region that possesses nuclear weapons, to submit its facilities to the safeguards regime of the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] and adhere to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement," said Walid Moualem.

    Israel is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, although it is widely believed to possess nuclear weapons. Its government follows a policy of neither confirming nor denying its nuclear status.

    Moualem also critized an Israeli airstrike over Syria last month, calling it proof of Israel's desire to escalate tension, and he criticized the international community for not denouncing the attack.

    The strike raised speculation that Israel had hit a weapons shipment headed for Hezbollah militants in Lebanon or even some sort of nuclear installation. Israel's government has remained silent about the matter, but earlier Monday, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told British Radio that the attack was on an "unused military building" and says his country reserves the right to retaliate.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Ugandai
    X
    Serginho Roosblad
    February 12, 2016 9:29 PM
    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video Refugees in Kenya Vie to Compete in Rio Olympics

    In Kenya, refugees from other African nations are training at a special camp and competing for a limited number of slots in this year's Rio Olympics under the flag of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Ngong, this is a first in Olympic history.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.