News / Middle East

Clinton Slams Russia on Syria

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton smiles during a forum with students at the Royal Library in Copenhagen, Denmark, May 31, 2012.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton smiles during a forum with students at the Royal Library in Copenhagen, Denmark, May 31, 2012.
TEXT SIZE - +
COPENHAGEN - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says continuing Russian support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is blocking United Nations action to end 15 months of violence and could help lead to civil war. Clinton is in Denmark, at the beginning of a one-week trip to Europe.

Secretary Clinton says "very strong opposition" from Russia is making it harder to put together an international coalition against President Assad. But, she says Washington is not giving up on such a coalition, because "every day that goes by makes the case stronger."

Clinton told a question-and-answer session with youth leaders in the Danish capital that, without Russian support, U.N. and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan cannot expand his mandate to push Damascus to confront what she calls terrible dangers.

Clinton says the continuing slaughter of innocent people by the military, by pro-government militia and by government opponents could become civil war. In a country already riven by sectarian divides.  She says that could quickly become a regional proxy war.

"You have Iran deeply embedded in Syria," she said. "Their military are coaching the Syrian military. Their so-called Quds force, which is a branch of the military, is helping them set up these sectarian militias. And, you have Russia continuing to supply them arms."

Clinton says the threat of wider regional conflict is fed by cross-border security concerns in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.

"We know it could actually get much worse than it is. And, we are trying to prevent that," she said. "And, my argument to the Russians is they keep telling me they don't want to see a civil war. And, I have been telling them their policy is going to help contribute to a civil war. It is not a satisfactory answer yet, but we are trying to keep pushing all the pieces together to support Kofi Annan as an independent voice because the Syrians are not going to listen to us. They will listen, maybe, to the Russians. So we have to keep pushing them."

Russia's Interfax news agency Thursday quoted President Vladimir Putin's spokesman as saying Russia's position on Syria is well-known, balanced, consistent, and completely logical. Spokesman Dmitry Peskov says "it is hardly appropriate to talk about this position changing under someone's pressure."

U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon told a forum in Turkey Thursday that recent massacres of civilians could plunge Syria into a "catastrophic civil war" from which the country would never recover.

You May Like

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Observer from: Southeastasia
June 01, 2012 12:30 AM
China and Russia have now obtained wider and stronger control over other countries than the US cum Europe. Probably in the near future the US and Europe too will come under their influence, and later control if Obama and European leaders continue to be mostly bogged down in the economic issues of their countries.


by: klare
May 31, 2012 10:49 AM
Clinton made LIBya and now SYRIA rebellionsAs chaos consumes Libya, with death squads roaming the fractured nation committing atrocities, torture, racist genocide, and mired in infighting, and with the violence in Syria now fully exposed as foreign terrorists organized, armed, directed, and staged since 2007 by the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia, one might think journalists today would be careful about invoking these "successes" while trying to sow destabilization elsewhere. But for Russian "journalist" Yulia Latynina, repeating US State Department talking points, no matter how hypocritical, no matter how oafishly in contradiction to reality, is just another day on the job.


by: Dan Good from: Mamer, Luxembourg
May 31, 2012 9:42 AM
What Clinton says sounds neither credible or sincere. First, the Syrians have always cooperarated with America. And Bashad is not a hated dictator, as he is ususally portrayed. Secondly, who is the opposition in Syria? Its leaders seem to be outside of Syria, in the same way as "opposition" to Iraq was outside Iraq. Ahmed Chalabi comes to mind. Russia and China have said clearly that they feel betrayed by NATO's conduct in Lybia and do not want a repeat of that debacle. Why does Clinton pretend to be surprised now by resistence of Russia and China? If the US can go alone anyway, whihc it can, no one can stop it. So why put up a pretence? Bismarck was better at play acting back in the 1870's than the USA today. And in the end Bismarck created a strong country that was universally feared and reviled. Is that what Clinton is trying to do? Americans overseas can feel the embarrassement of their country's shinanigans. The best policy for the US would be to reduce its military spending and start serious cooperation with allies and adversaries. An increasingly confrontational world is being created and it made possible by US abuse of powers granted to it after WW II at Bretton Woods by defeated Europe. Europe does not want to go back to those days. But is seems the US is itching to do so.


by: briancutshall from: Texas
May 31, 2012 9:17 AM
Why should Russia change its stance? Syria is spending millions for arms and munitions and Russia is the benefactor. Russia is making millions of dollars supplying Syria with these arms. bite the hand that feed you? Not likely.


by: carlos lascoutx from: mexico
May 31, 2012 9:08 AM
...Russia saying their support for Syria is consistent means
they approve the massacre of their own citizens to maintain
the increasingly unpopular longevity of Putin, are willing to risk
civil war to do so, have abandoned any pretence of a democratic electoral system, will continue to oppress their people through their wormy judicial system, and/or brute force.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid