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

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead 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.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid