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

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Official Pleased With Ebola Containment Measure

Official says three-day sensitization effort will help reduce infection rate of Ebola disease nationwide More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As the tumult in the Middle East distracts Obama, shifting American focus eastward appears threatened More

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.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid