News / Europe

    Britain, Russia Agree on 'Urgent' Push for Syrian Talks

    Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron and Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) speak to media after their meeting at the Bocharov Ruchei state residence in Sochi, May 10, 2013.
    Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron and Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) speak to media after their meeting at the Bocharov Ruchei state residence in Sochi, May 10, 2013.
    VOA News
    British Prime Minister David Cameron and Russian President Vladimir Putin say they are committed to working together to end the bloodshed in Syria.

    The two leaders met Friday in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi, with Cameron telling reporters Britain, Russia and the United States "urgently have to do more" because "the history of Syria is being written in the blood of her people."

    The British prime minister also strongly endorsed an agreement earlier this week between the United States and Russia to press for peace talks between the Syrian government and opposition groups at an international conference.

    Putin said he and Cameron discussed "a number of possible joint steps" to end the conflict.

    At least 70,000 people have been killed in the ongoing fighting between the Syrian government and rebels fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad, a longtime Russian ally.

    Cameron said despite differences with Moscow, both countries agree on the need to "help shape transitional government that all Syrians can trust to protect them."

    Also Friday, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights called for urgent action.

    Navi Pillay said images from a suspected massacre in the western Syrian village of Bayda are appalling and "seem to indicate a campaign targeting specific communities perceived to be supportive of the opposition."

    Pillay also expressed concern about what appears to be a major military buildup near the western town of Qusayr, warning there could be more atrocities if the area is overrun.

    Syrian opposition groups last week accused Syrian forces loyal to Mr. Assad of killing at least 150 civilians, including women and children, in the village of Bayda.  Bayda is mainly inhabited by Sunni Muslims who dominate the country's rebel movement.

    The U.S. State Department said Washington was "appalled by horrific reports" of the many civilians killed in the attack and condemned the "atrocities."

    Meanwhile, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told U.S. broadcaster NBC News "it is clear" Syrian President Assad has used chemical weapons against opposition forces.  Mr. Erdogan said, the regime has "used about 200 missiles according to our intelligence and it can be even more but not less.''

    Clashes continued to break out across Syria. The Local Coordination Committees, an opposition activist group, said at least 22 people were killed in fighting early Friday in the capital of Damascus and the central city of Homs, as well as Aleppo, Hama, and Daraa.

    Also Friday, amateur video posted on the Internet by opposition activists claimed to show dozens of people wading through a river to escape fighting in the central Syrian town of Halfayeh. A voice, off camera, said the people were fleeing to ``escape a massacre'' by government forces.

    You May Like

    Multimedia Obama Calls on Americans to Help the Families of Its War Dead

    In last Memorial Day of his presidency, Obama lays wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery

    The Strife of the Party: Will Trump Permanently Alter Republicans?

    While billionaire mogul's no-holds-barred style, high-energy delivery are what rocketed him to nomination, they also have created rift between party elites and his supporters

    China's Education Reforms Spark Protest

    Beijing is putting a quota system in place to increase the number of students from poor regions attending universities

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Ludmilla Kobskya from: USA
    May 12, 2013 8:07 PM
    I love the Russian RT tv BS... to see them straining with resentment and envy at the US/Israel intelligence... issuing veiled threats and half hearted complements... straining themselves to sound conscientious - the protectors of humane treatment and elevated values... yeah sure... LOL

    by: gig24
    May 12, 2013 7:18 PM
    Some 2 Years ago "Assad has to go" e.g.Hillary Clinton and others.Now ,he is still there,this means a lot !It means,he belongs there.Here is the resolve,similar to Kosovo after the gun's smoke cleared. Establishe Sectors of security ,Russia ,Israel ,Turkey,Jordania(USA ,since US forces are staged with them).Let the refugees settle(repatriate) again into their geographical locaions.See what we got,adjustments can be hammered out peacefully,let their voices be heard,and eg if nobody seeks security given by Israel ,let them withdraw accordingly .Same for Turkey. Maybe Syria becomes a new geographical shape,but important is,the war can come to an end.

    by: Clarity
    May 12, 2013 9:53 AM
    Prompt decisive action is required to prevent the escalating loss of lives in Syria, something that cannot be allowed to reach those lost in Nigeria, circa 1967-1970. Sitting down then just didnt work did it?

    by: Nigel from: UK
    May 12, 2013 3:08 AM
    to all the Russians here... if the Israelis call the British SAS excellent professionals - than the SAS are excellent professional. PERIOD!!!

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    May 11, 2013 9:01 AM
    One does not understand what the war in Syria is all about. Once I said on this column that Mubarak of Egypt was about the last of the sane heads in leadership of countries in the Middle East outside Israel, but USA made sure he was removed. Today the Egyptians are calling for his return, and the international community is seeing another Iran in the making at the auspices of US-trained Morsi. Now who's worried after Morsi has turned Egypt into another hell on earth for everybody? The removal of Assad cannot be a sane decision. Israel being used as a proxy of the West to indict Assad does not favor anyone either. I heard Erdogan scream foul at Israel striking the chemical weapons site that might be transfered to Hezbollah. Now Turkey is the one accusing Assad of using chemical weapons on his citizens. Haba! Who's fooling who? Russia should stand its ground to ensure this injustice is not carried out against Syria and its people. It is not right to force Assad out of power against the wishes of its people. The few loud voices of opposition should not deceive us. What Syria needs is a peaceful resolution of the crisis that the opposition started. And there is no peace except the people sit down to discuss their own way to it. Assad is a Syrian and must be included in every conflict resolution out there. Then and only then will democracy be at work in crisis management in Syria. We should not be overwhelmed because of the involvement of the man from Iran, after all he leaves sometime soon. Please let Assad be. At least he has a cool head even if he's a friend to Amhadinejad.

    by: Super Star
    May 11, 2013 12:30 AM
    It would be interesting to note how much military hardware has been supplied to Syria by Iran, Russia and other Countries, over the duration of President Assad's tenure in office and where he
    had military training, prior to assuming power, a fact overlooked by many, who dont know his background.

    by: Tomlin from: Russia
    May 10, 2013 5:00 PM
    hey Cameron... maybe the SAS - Special Hair Service - can tape a film where they remove Assad by force... maybe that will scare the Syrians... ha? SAS... give me a break... they are good against Argentinian school kids... but if you put them in the Middle East...

    by: Ivgeny from: Russia
    May 10, 2013 4:21 PM
    priceless expression!!! Putin sees through this treacherous liar from Londonistan

    by: Gen. Ivgeny Kutzov from: Russia
    May 10, 2013 12:42 PM
    you've got to love Putin's expression... Britain has been trying to remove Assad from power by force to satisfy Saudi Arabia condition for cheap oil... the British treachery is global... they have been trying to fool the Americans to issue orders to the Israelis to decapitate the Assad regime... but the Americans see through the British treachery.
    Hey Cameron, you want to remove Assad, try to do it yourself... and don't forget the Syrians are not the Irish or the Argentinians... the Middle East is the "super-ball" of Military operations...

    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