News / Middle East

British Foreign Secretary Supports Strong Response to Syria

Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague leaves 10 Downing street following a national security meeting at Downing Street in London, Aug. 28, 2013.Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague leaves 10 Downing street following a national security meeting at Downing Street in London, Aug. 28, 2013.
x
Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague leaves 10 Downing street following a national security meeting at Downing Street in London, Aug. 28, 2013.
Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague leaves 10 Downing street following a national security meeting at Downing Street in London, Aug. 28, 2013.
VOA News
British Foreign Secretary William Hague says he believes there should be a strong response to the use of chemical weapons in Syria, despite a British parliament vote that rejected joining military action against the Assad government.

Hague said Sunday "the use of chemical weapons in the 21st century is an evil that we have to stand up to."

Britain's top diplomat said he backed the anticipated U.S.-led air strike to stop President Bashar al-Assad's regime from using poison gas again.

Hague said what the U.S. is talking about is a "limited proportionate response to the use of chemical weapons to try to deter the use of chemical weapons."

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry talks with Arab League Secretary General Nabil Elaraby before the start of a meeting with representatives of the Arab League at the United States Embassy in Paris, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013.U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry talks with Arab League Secretary General Nabil Elaraby before the start of a meeting with representatives of the Arab League at the United States Embassy in Paris, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013.
x
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry talks with Arab League Secretary General Nabil Elaraby before the start of a meeting with representatives of the Arab League at the United States Embassy in Paris, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry talks with Arab League Secretary General Nabil Elaraby before the start of a meeting with representatives of the Arab League at the United States Embassy in Paris, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who meets with Arab League officials Sunday in Paris before heading to London, says international support is growing for holding the Syrian government responsible for the attack.

"This is growing, not receding, in terms of the global sense of outrage of what’s happened,” said Kerry.

He commented during a Saturday news conference in Paris with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.

Earlier in the day, Kerry met with European foreign ministers in Lithuania in a bid to strengthen support, as the U.S. considers a military strike against Syria.

After the meeting, European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton read a statement for the group that called for a "clear and strong response" to the attack in Syria but stopped short of specifying military action.  

Ashton also said the EU wants Syria's crisis to be addressed by the United Nations. She said any further action against Damascus should be delayed until a U.N. chemical weapons team presents its findings.

Kerry said the European leaders had made a "powerful statement" even though some countries still did not believe in military action.

He also said President Barack Obama had not made a decision on waiting on the report from the U.N. team.

Meanwhile, Syrian activists said Sunday Islamic extremists have taken control of a Christian village, north of Damascus.  The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said regime forces had withdrawn from Maalula after clashing with the Nusra Front.

Obama said Saturday in his weekly recorded address that failing to respond to what he called Syria's "outrageous attack" would increase a risk of further chemical weapons attacks.

The president's address on Syria came a day after he wrapped up a visit to Russia for the G20 economic summit.

During the trip, Obama held bilateral meetings on Syria with leaders of the world's major economies.  He received support from the leaders of France, Turkey and other nations, but Russian President Vladimir Putin remained adamantly opposed to any attack on the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Obama takes his case for targeted military strikes on Damascus directly to the American people in a televised speech Tuesday.  

The U.S. Congress is expected to vote on possible U.S. action against Syria in coming weeks. A key Senate panel voted last Wednesday in favor of action.

U.S. officials say they have evidence that more than 1,400 people were killed by poison gas in an attack on August 21 in areas on the fringe of Damascus populated by supporters of the opposition.

You May Like

Video On The Scene: In Ethiopia, 'Are You a Journalist?' Is a Loaded Question

VOA's Anita Powell describes the difficulties faced by reporters in fully conveying the story in a country where people are reticent to share their true opinions More

Nigerians Await New President With High Hopes

When pomp and circumstance of inauguration end in Abuja, Buhari will sit down to the hard task of governing Nigeria More

India's Restrictions on Several NGOs Raise Concerns

Political analysts link recent clampdown on advocacy groups to report last year that said foreign-funded NGO’s negatively impact economic development More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs