News / Middle East

'Friends of Syria' Urge Opposition to Join Peace Talks

US Secretary of State Pushes Syria Talksi
X
October 22, 2013 7:23 PM
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

— 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

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies 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.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid