News

Bush to Syria: Stay Out of Lebanese Elections

President Bush says Syria should stay out of presidential elections in neighboring Lebanon. VOA White House correspondent Scott Stearns reports, Mr. Bush met at the White House with the leader of the anti-Syrian majority in Lebanon's parliament, Saad Hariri.

President Bush told Lebanese majority leader Hariri that he expects Syria to stay out of the Lebanese parliament's search for a new president.

"I am deeply concerned about foreign interference in your elections," he said. "The message has been sent to nations such as Syria that they should not interfere in the election of the president."

The Lebanese parliament last week failed to elect a new president because of a boycott by the Syrian-backed opposition, led by the Shiite militant group Hezbollah, which receives funding from both Syria and Iran.

More than a dozen candidates are vying to succeed President Emile Lahoud, who steps down late next month.

In an Oval Office meeting, President Bush told the Lebanese politician that America is more than just an admirer of Lebanese democracy and wants to help as much as it can.

Hariri said he appreciates the president's support and is confident that the democratically-elected majority will act independent of Syrian interference.

"We in Lebanon have a very important constitutional presidential election that we do not want any foreign interference in this presidential election," he said. "We have had members of our parliament being killed. I ask, Mr. President, that this action is taken by terrorists that want to finish our democracy."

President Bush said he admires Hariri's courage as he works for peace, democracy, and freedom in Lebanon. Mr. Bush again called for faster action from a United Nations tribunal investigating the 2005 assassination of Hariri's father, former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

"The international community has demanded accountability. That tribunal has taken too long to get started," he said. "The international community must work more quickly to stand up this tribunal so people will be held to account."

The president said the tribunal will send a clear message that justice will be delivered.

Syria denies any involvement in that killing, which fueled protests that ultimately forced Damascus to withdraw its troops from Lebanon.

President Bush said he is impressed with how Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora is dealing with Hezbollah militants, and said the commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East, Admiral William Fallon, will meet with Lebanese officials to see what more the United States can do to help Lebanon's military.

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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs