News / Middle East

'Friends of Syria' Urge Opposition to Join Peace Talks

US Secretary of State Pushes Syria Talksi
X
October 22, 2013
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Europe for talks on how to get to a transitional government to end Syria's civil war. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, there are divisions within the Syrian opposition and questions over Iran joining those talks.

US Secretary of State Pushes Syria Talks

TEXT SIZE - +
— U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Europe for talks on getting to a transitional government to end Syria's civil war. But there are divisions within the opposition and questions over Iran joining those talks.

International efforts to end the fighting in Syria focus on getting President Bashar al-Assad's government and his opponents to agree to peace talks. Syria's opposition is deeply fractured, with some elements refusing to attend talks in Geneva unless President Assad first steps down.

At Tuesday's meeting of the so-called "London 11" backing Syria's opposition, Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague urged those groups to come together behind peace talks in Geneva.

"We urge the National Coalition to commit itself fully to the Geneva 2 process and to lead and form the heart of any opposition delegation. Geneva offers the Syrian people the best hope to improve their lives," said Hague.

Syrian Refugees by Country


Lebanon: 793,615
Jordan: 547,274
Turkey: 502,737
Iraq: 197,301
Egypt: 126,051

Source: UNHCR

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said there is no military solution to the conflict.
"This war will not come to an end on the battlefield, I believe, and I think most people believe, it will come to an end through a negotiated settlement."

Assad has agreed in principle to join those talks and wants Iran to come along as part of the process. That is a move backed by Russia, which along with Iran, is the Syrian government's main supporter.

Former U.S. ambassador Adam Ereli said Iran will never allow this conflict to end in a way that weakens its position.

"Think of Iran's support for Bashar al-Assad not as an offensive move but as a defensive move to keep their enemies farther away, at bay, to give them [Iran] a capability to protect the homeland by having an ally in Damascus," said Ereli.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is moving forward on talks over Tehran's nuclear program - momentum that may carry over to talks on Syria, says American University professor Akbar Ahmed.

"You're seeing a certain thaw emerging, and in that sense Iran I think will play an even more active role in what is happening in Syria, and I think that will be opening-up a different kind of dialogue with Western powers."

This "London 11" meeting is also discussing the war's humanitarian impact with more than two million Syrians displaced by the fighting.

  • United Nations vehicles are parked in front of the Four Seasons hotel, where a team of experts from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is staying in Damascus, Oct. 22, 2013.
  • Boys pass by a vegetable stall in Aleppo, Oct. 21, 2013.
  • Syria's President Bashar al-Assad meets with a Women's International Democratic Federation delegation, headed by Marcia Campos in Damascus, Oct. 21, 2013. (SANA)
  • A Free Syrian Army fighter is seen near a vehicle mounted with an anti-aircraft weapon in Al-Sukhna in Homs province, Oct. 20, 2013.
  • Men inspect the site after a suicide attack at the eastern entrance of Hama city, in this handout photograph distributed by Syria's national news agency SANA on Oct. 20, 2013.
  • Residents run from a fire at a gasoline and oil shop in Aleppo's Bustan Al-Qasr neighborhood, Oct. 20, 2013.

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Kay from: D.C.
October 23, 2013 10:25 AM
He certainly is a Bohemian Grove, member, just investigate what they do there!!!!!!


by: Marge Perry from: USA
October 22, 2013 7:09 PM
VOA loves to grovel over this disgusting man, warmonger, Bohemian Grove member, admitted too!!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
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.
AppleAndroid