News

    Clinton Calls for Tough Sanctions If Syria Ignores UN Peace Plan

    Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton talks with France's Foreign Minister Alain Juppe during a meeting on Syria, April 19, 2012, in Paris
    Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton talks with France's Foreign Minister Alain Juppe during a meeting on Syria, April 19, 2012, in Paris

    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called for tough U.N. sanctions to be imposed on Syria if it fails to implement a U.N.-backed peace plan aimed at resolving the country's year-long uprising.

    Kofi Annan's Six-Point Peace Plan

    • A Syrian-led political process to address the aspirations and concerns of the Syrian people.
    • A U.N. supervised end to armed violence by all parties in Syria.
    • Timely humanitarian assistance in all areas affected by fighting.
    • Increasing the pace and scale of release of arbitrarily detained people.
    • Ensuring freedom of movement for journalists.
    • Respecting freedom of association and the right to demonstrate peacefully.

    Clinton made the call Thursday at a Paris meeting of top diplomats of more than a dozen nations who call themselves the "Friends of Syria" and support the Syrian opposition revolt against the autocratic rule of President Bashar al-Assad.

    Clinton said Washington believes the U.N. Security Council should adopt an arms embargo on Syria and impose travel and financial sanctions on Syrian officials in order to keep Mr. Assad "off balance." She also said such a resolution should be passed under Chapter Seven of the U.N. Charter, which authorizes measures, including military action.

    Russia has twice used its Security Council veto to block Western and Arab proposals for sanctions on the Assad government, a key Russian ally. Clinton said she tried to persuade Russia to drop its objection to sanctions in a meeting earlier Thursday with her Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, in Brussels. She said Lavrov recognized that Syria is "not in a static situation but a deteriorating one."

    French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said the Friends of Syria believe the U.N.-backed peace plan drafted by international envoy Kofi Annan is the "last chance" for Syria to avoid a civil war. He said if the plan fails, the anti-Assad coalition will seek "other options" to deal with the Syrian crisis.

    The United Nations said Syria signed a preliminary agreement for an expanded U.N. mission to monitor a shaky cease-fire in the government's conflict with rebels leading the uprising. A small group of unarmed U.N. soldiers began monitoring the truce earlier this week. The cease-fire took effect last Thursday, but fighting has continued across the country.

    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged the Security Council to quickly adopt a resolution expanding the observer team in Syria from about 30 to 300 personnel. He also called on Syria to cooperate with the monitors by ensuring their freedom of movement, including through the use of helicopters.

    The U.N. chief described the situation in Syria as "highly precarious," citing recent reports of government shelling of civilian areas and attacks by armed opposition groups.

    Syrian rights activists said security forces and rebels fought in the eastern town of Deir el-Zour on Thursday. They also reported intense government artillery strikes on the opposition hub of Homs in central Syria.

    Elsewhere, the head of the small U.N. observer team in Syria visited the southern city of Daraa, another center of protest against Mr. Assad. Amateur video showed Moroccan Colonel Ahmed Himiche visiting homes damaged in the conflict and listening to residents asking for information about the fate of missing relatives. At one point, he responded by saying "I am a military man, not an expert...I will look with my eyes and write my report."

    U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the Syrian government's crackdown on the opposition is "brutal and devastating." In a briefing to U.S. lawmakers, he said the United States is supporting international efforts to curb the violence in several ways, including by providing direct non-lethal support to the Syrian opposition.

    Panetta also reiterated the Obama administration's opposition to military intervention in Syria, saying that could make a "volatile situation even worse" and "place more innocent civilians at risk."

    A U.N.-backed survey released on Thursday said 230,000 Syrians have been displaced in the country since the uprising began in March 2011.

    The United Nations estimates that Syria's crackdown on the revolt has killed more than 9,000 people.

    Join the conversation on our social journalism site -
    Middle East Voices
    . Follow our Middle East reports on
    Twitter and discuss them on our Facebook page.
    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Small tiger
    April 20, 2012 1:53 AM
    This passage is preety good.

    by: NATASHA
    April 19, 2012 8:43 PM
    Russia and China would protect Syria if it was attacked by terrorist sponsors whoever they might be. If the West do not change the one-sided view over Syria they will face the WWW III. So stop supporting the terrorists in Syria.

    by: NVO
    April 19, 2012 6:18 PM
    Clinton is a Siamese twin of the UN, is there some LIE here that she ignores the UN peace plan??? Don't be deceived!!!

    by: NVO
    April 19, 2012 6:12 PM
    Clinton:There she is, THE NEW WORLD ORDER DRONE, right in there with the Club Of Rome, The Rockefellers, The Bilderbergs, The Rothschilds, ALL pushing for a ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT under THE NEW WORLD ORDER!

    by: rob woods
    April 19, 2012 3:51 PM
    Caution; I think that an altruistic effort to stabilize Lebanon during Reagan admin met with disastrous results for our Marines. Paralel ?

    by: mike
    April 19, 2012 10:57 AM
    haha, didnt a german ship bound for Syria get seized a few days ago? And wasnt it carrying lots of ammo and other military supplies?

    Its obvious... Syria originally arranged for a cease fire and stopped because they needed ships to have safe passage towards them and they could restock with supplies, then start the killing all over again.

    When will Russia and China get on the right side? Well Russia of course is so corrupt, they never know whats right.

    by: Kamal
    April 19, 2012 8:33 AM
    I think that the end of Assad's regime is very close, he want to convince us that there is really a armed gangs in syria, he want us to doubt what we see by our eyes every day and to trust him. all the world press is liar !!!!!!!!

    by: NVO
    April 19, 2012 6:27 AM
    The UN:Synonomous with The Club of Rome, The Bilderbergs, The Clintons, The Trilateral Commission, The Counsel On Foreign Relations. All corrupt groups pushing for A ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT under THE NEW WORLD ORDER. DO NOT BE DECEIVED!!! DO NOT BE DECEIVED.

    by: Mert
    April 19, 2012 6:15 AM
    I think Ban Ki Moon must take side the Syrian people. They just want to live in democratic Syria and I think Syrian people deserve it.

    by: Sam
    April 19, 2012 5:20 AM
    What else can one expect to hear from Ban Ki Moon? Looks like he took sides long before the crisis begun. I never hear from him talking about the responsibilities of the so-called "free Syrian army".

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora