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

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer More

Video Kenyans Lament Al-Shabab's Recruitment of Youths

VOA travels to Isiolo, where residents share their fears, struggles to get loved ones back from Somalia-based militant group More

This US Epidemic Keeps Getting Worse

One in 4 Americans suffers from this condition 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.
A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensionsi
X
May 26, 2015 11:11 PM
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 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