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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs