News / Middle East

Britain Opens Direct Talks With Syrian Opposition

Britain's PMr David Cameron walks with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh and UNHCR representative to Jordan Andrew Harper during his visit to Al-Zaatri refugee camp in the Jordanian city of Mafraq, November 7, 2012.
Britain's PMr David Cameron walks with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh and UNHCR representative to Jordan Andrew Harper during his visit to Al-Zaatri refugee camp in the Jordanian city of Mafraq, November 7, 2012.
Selah Hennessy
— Finding a solution to Syria’s civil war should be a priority for Britain and the United States, following the U.S. president's re-election, says British Prime Minister David Cameron. Britain says it will open talks with armed Syrian rebels.

Cameron was in Jordan visiting Syrian refugees at Zaatari camp, which houses about 30,000 people who fled war-torn Syria.

He congratulated U.S. President Barack Obama on his re-election and said one of the first things he hopes to speak with Obama about is how their countries must do more to solve Syria’s crisis.

"We want Assad to go, we want to see a peaceful, political transition and a safe country for the future. But right now, the international community has to recognize, that what we have done is not enough," said Cameron.

Numbers of Syrian Refugees, by Country

  • Turkey: 138,401
  • Lebanon: 133,634
  • Jordan: 123,747  
  • Iraq: 60,307

Source: UNHCR
In an interview Tuesday, Cameron said he would support giving safe passage to President Bashar al-Assad. On Wednesday, he added he would like to see Assad face full international justice.

Durham University Syria expert Daniel Newman said Cameron’s visit to the refugees is significant.

“It sends a very powerful message to the Syrian opposition that Britain is very much engaged with the situation and is taking a very active role,” said Newman.

Meanwhile, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said he has directed British officials have direct contact with military figures in the armed Syrian opposition. He said the rebels would not be armed and any contact would take place outside Syria.

Newman said Hague’s statement is not a change in policy.

“What was there in the shadows, if you like, has moved out into the light of day,” said Newman.

He noted that the comments from Hague and Cameron demonstrate Britain is pushing for more engagement in an effort to resolve Syria’s crisis. An estimated 36,000 people have died in Syria’s conflict.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: John from: Accra
November 08, 2012 4:57 AM
I thought Britain and the Western world never engaged terrorists or those who engaged in suicide bombings?


by: Michael from: USA
November 08, 2012 12:35 AM
I admire the Prime Minister in that his government extended itself to actually set foot on the site of this Syrian tragedy to see in person what is happening. All other supposed experts on Syria cannot claim likewise


by: K-Nar from: Germany
November 07, 2012 4:53 PM
soon you will feel the stench of British treachery... soon...

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid