News

    Diplomats Push for End to Syria's Violence

    Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal, right, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled al-Hamad Al-Sabah chat before a US- Gulf Cooperation Council forum at the Gulf Cooperation Council Secretariat in R
    Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal, right, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled al-Hamad Al-Sabah chat before a US- Gulf Cooperation Council forum at the Gulf Cooperation Council Secretariat in R

    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attended a "strategic forum" between the United States and the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council in Saudi Arabia Saturday to discuss issues that included bringing an end to Syria's crackdown on dissent and countering the growing threat of Iran.

    The forum took place on the eve the 60-nation "Friends of the Syria" meeting in Turkey Sunday, aimed at boosting opposition to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.  Clinton, as well as diplomats from other nations that support Syrian opposition groups, are scheduled to attend.  

    The U.S. remains opposed to arming Syria's rebels, which some Gulf states have proposed, and is instead working to unify the splintered opposition groups, and find ways to get humanitarian aid into the country.

    A Look at the "Friends of Syria" Meeting in Istanbul

    • Attendees: Representatives of more than 70 Western and Arab countries, the opposition Syrian National Council and a delegation for U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan
    • Goals: The group is expected to discuss plans for ending Syria's deadly anti-government unrest; The group may endorse a peace plan crafted by Annan
    • Last Meeting: The "Friends of Syria" met in Tunisia on February 24. It sought a pledge from Syria to halt violence and allow the delivery of humanitarian aid

    Ahead of Sunday's meeting in Istanbul, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said a peace plan put forward by U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan is the "minimum" of what Syria must do "urgently and without delay."  "If that delay continues, and if the people are being killed every day, more and more casualties being in the news, of course the hope for Annan's plan will be lost," he said.

    Syria's regime declared Saturday that the bid to topple President Assad was over, but that it would not withdraw its troops from urban areas until stability is restored.

    Meanwhile, violence in Syria continued.  The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told VOA that government shelling and clashes between security forces and protesters had left 25 people dead Saturday.

    The United Nations says more than 9,000 people have been killed since unrest in Syria began more than a year ago.  

    In a letter to the U.N. on Friday, Syria said acts by "armed terrorist groups" had led to the deaths of more than 6,100 people in Syria since the start of the uprising.

    Reported deaths in violence across Syria

    Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

    Join the conversation on our social journalism site -
    Middle East Voices
    . Follow our Middle East reports on
    Twitter and discuss them on our Facebook page.
    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: nan zhang
    April 01, 2012 6:06 AM
    BASHAR AL-ASSAD MUST BE TOPPLED. SYRIAN PEOPLE WILL WIN.

    by: S
    March 31, 2012 10:42 PM
    SULEYMAN, Hitler killed Jews, Assad is killing antisemites and other religious or ethnic bigots. They are extremists at opposite ends of the spectrum. Assad is a hero who kills duplicitous Islamist snakes who think Syria is the same as Lybia. Assad is a defender of humanity in Syria against the cancer of blind faith and total submission.

    by: S
    March 31, 2012 10:21 PM
    Observe the body language, lying duplicitous "Arab" dogs in the picture doing their best to appear to be not the antisemites they actually are. They are a disgrace to Arabs and Muslims alike. Madam Clinton on the other hand, has more integrity in her pinky toe than both those "men" combined.

    by: Aliyari
    March 31, 2012 3:34 PM
    No country has the right say about Syria.
    Government of Syria has the right kill or not to kills
    Just keep your mouth closed
    this is it if you eager to come in Damuscus
    I show what is Freedom.

    by: Wim Roffel
    March 31, 2012 1:39 PM
    When will Clinton finally commit to a peaceful solution and real negotiations?

    by: Libyan
    March 31, 2012 11:57 AM
    It is a matter time. The end of this killing regime is coming from killing people. the more you kill the more people will be determined to overthrow it. It is not fair that this regime is being backed by Rissua, China, and Iran with arsonal of weapons and the revolutionaries are using just simple weapons. Let it be fair and see, arm the revoluionaries fighters. The afriad of weapons after this regime ends is not logical becuase the weapons are thier anyway.

    by: SULEYMAN
    March 31, 2012 11:53 AM
    Bashar al-Assad like Hitler is a dictator. Killing innocent civilians. The world does not come together, will kill all the people of Syria.

    by: Dave
    March 31, 2012 7:59 AM
    you have here a dictator who is terrified of ending up like Saddam or Qaddafi, a people who are outraged after losing thousands of loved ones to the military's bullets, and a military who have stepped over the threshold point from warfare to murder... in such a place, words cannot solve anything without force... and the UN once again has been stymied, by that STUPID VETO given to any member of the permanent security committee.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora