News / Europe

Despite Veto, UK's Cameron Wants 'Robust Response' on Syria

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron leaves 10 Downing Street in London, to be driven to the Houses of Parliament for a debate and vote on Syria, Aug. 29, 2013.
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron leaves 10 Downing Street in London, to be driven to the Houses of Parliament for a debate and vote on Syria, Aug. 29, 2013.
Selah Hennessy
Britain’s leader will still push for a “robust response” in Syria, despite parliament rejecting any military action against the Syrian government. David Cameron said Friday he “regrets” the outcome of the vote.

Cameron was speaking Friday after the British parliament gave its "no" vote late Thursday.

“Parliament I think made a very clear view which it does not want British involvement in military action so we will proceed on that basis,” he said.

Cameron had sought authorization for a military strike to “deter and prevent” the Syrian authorities from using poison gas. The measure was defeated by a vote, 285 -272.

Cameron said Friday it’s still important for Britain to make a “robust response” to the use of chemical weapons - and by using channels such as the United Nations and NATO, Britain would “condemn what’s happened in Syria.”

Where World Powers Stand on Syria
*as of 8/30/13

  • Britain: Parliament rejects participation in military strike
  • Russia: Against Western intervention
  • France: President wants "firm and proportionate action"
  • China: Foreign Minister says political resolution is "only way out"
  • Germany: Military commitment is not being considered
  • Italy: Will not take part in military action without a U.N. mandate
  • Canada: Supports intervention but no plans to commit Canadian forces
  • Iran: Opposed to any Western military strike
Earlier this week, Britain drafted a Security Council resolution that would authorize the use of “all necessary force” in reaction to the Syrian government's alleged use of chemical weapons.

But the Council’s five permanent members - Russia, China, the United States, France and Britain - have been in deadlock during meetings this week.

The leader of Britain’s opposition, Ed Miliband, said the British response to the Syrian crisis must be calm and measured.

"I think the problem is that David Cameron was engaging in cavalier and reckless leadership and it was cavalier and reckless leadership that was taking Britain potentially into war without going through the United Nations, without putting the evidence properly before the British parliament,” he said.

The United States and a number of its allies said the Syrian government carried out a chemical weapons attack near Damascus last week that reportedly killed hundreds of people. The Syrian government denied the allegations.

On Friday French President Francois Hollande said he still supported taking “firm” action in Syria despite the British "no" vote. Hollande does not need parliamentary approval for a military strike, as long as the campaign lasts less than four months.

Germany said it would not take part in military action. Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle told journalists that participation in a strike was “not being considered."

You May Like

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video Survivor Video Testimonies Recount Horrors of Guatemalan Genocide

During a conflict that spanned more than three decades, tens of thousands of indigenous Mayans were killed More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Raphael
August 30, 2013 10:14 PM
It cannot be said that David Cameron is a "toothless bulldog".He is decisive and makes a good case for deterrent action against a dictator who should be indicted along with his military to the Hague.
This at the very least is what Ed Miliband could have put forward to the UK Paliament, instead of "sitting on the fence". In fact he did not even call for it. The UN is the "toothless bulldog" given its inability to deal with regimes involved in gross human right abuses.

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
August 30, 2013 1:24 PM
What is the value of “robust response” in the face of the present threat and violation of weapons use? What value does another “condemn what’s happened in Syria” add to all the warnings that Assad has repeatedly ignored to that effect? Seems the power of ranting and speaking with both ends of the mouth have made some countries, which were once world powers but known for their military and political prowess of the past, to look like dog in the manger. Britain is becoming like a toothless bulldog in its fear to take responsibility in world affairs, especially where it thinks it can goad others into actions it would have taken by itself. All the talking and no action places Britain where it wouldn't want to be. It's time for Britain to once again prove to the world that it still has ability to back its words with action when need arises. For now all it boasts of is past glory.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs