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.
    New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Ugandai
    X
    Serginho Roosblad
    February 12, 2016 9:29 PM
    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video Refugees in Kenya Vie to Compete in Rio Olympics

    In Kenya, refugees from other African nations are training at a special camp and competing for a limited number of slots in this year's Rio Olympics under the flag of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Ngong, this is a first in Olympic history.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.