News / Middle East

France: Talks to Bring Practical Support to Syrian People

French FM Laurent Fabius (June 2012 photo)French FM Laurent Fabius (June 2012 photo)
French FM Laurent Fabius (June 2012 photo)
French FM Laurent Fabius (June 2012 photo)
VOA News
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius says the Friends of Syria meeting in Paris will not be just abstract talks but are aimed at bringing practical support to the Syrian people.

Delegates from about 100 countries and 100 members of the opposition will be in the French capital on Friday.

Fabius tells Le Parisien newspaper that there is a clear need to move forward in Syria. He says the barbarism of President Bashar al-Assad risks civil war and spreading sectarian violence to neighboring countries.

Fabius says he is looking for delegates at the talks to expand sanctions against Syria, provide communications support to the opposition, and help with humanitarian efforts.

Russia and China, two of Syria's most powerful allies, are not participating in the Paris talks. Fabius says that as permanent U.N. Security Council members, they must worry about threats to peace. He said supporting President Assad leads only to a bloody mess.

The head of the United Nations monitoring mission in Syria, Major General Robert Mood, says violence there has reached "unprecedented" levels. He said there must a cease-fire before unarmed observer teams can resume their suspended mission.

Also Thursday, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said Baghdad has solid intelligence that al-Qaida militants are infiltrating Syria to carry out terrorist attacks.

President Assad contends that outside terrorists are responsible for much of Syria's violence. U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay has asked Syria to allow her teams to come into the country to independently investigate Mr. Assad's claims.

Several Western nations say an agreement reached last Saturday in Geneva calling for a transitional government in Syria excludes Mr. Assad. Russia and China say there is no such stipulation. They have used their veto power in the U.N. Security Council to block several rounds of proposed sanctions against Damascus.

Also Thursday, the WikiLeaks website said it has begun publishing material from 2.4 million emails stemming from Syrian government accounts, calling the documents "embarrassing to Syria, but also embarrassing to Syria's opponents." WikiLeaks spokeswoman Sarah Harrison said the emails were from Syrian political figures, government ministries and companies, dating from August 2006 to March 2012.

WikiLeaks said the emails, which it has called "The Syria Files," will shine a light on the inner workings of the Syrian government and economy, and "also reveal how the West and Western companies say one thing and do another."

You May Like

Video Russia’s Syrian Escalation Tests Obama’s Crisis Response

Critics once again question whether president has been slow to act on Syrian conflict, thus creating opening for powers like Russia More

Ancient African DNA Shows Mass Migration Back Into Africa

First genetic analysis of ancient human remains in Africa suggests massive migration from north around time of Egyptian empire More

NASA: Pluto Has Blue Sky

New photos also reveal the presence of water ice More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Anonymous
July 06, 2012 1:08 AM
This whole Syrian situation with Assad reminds me of the children in a sandbox. You've got Assad in one corner and 3 other children in the other corners. All want to play together and have fun peacefully. But Assad wants everyone to play his way, but the other 3 don't want to play Assad's way. So Assad breaks all their toys and pulls their hair.

Assad was never taught by his father that if he is mean to the other kids, or breaks their toys, he will not have anyone to play with, because his father was the same way and didn't know any better. So now what must happen is Assad needs to be punished, his hand smacked, and he must be removed from the sandbox permanently so the other kids can play in the sandbox forever peacefully and live happily ever after.

Unfortunately in this case, the "Toys" are actually peoples "Lives".
In Response

by: Anon from: US
July 06, 2012 10:58 PM
Makes me think of when the cat found the sand box. He thought it was just another place to take a dump. In the same fashion, outsiders want to ruin Syria for the people living there. Syria already had free elections, as part of Kofi Annan's plan. Assad was elected, and the 'friends of Syria' didn't even have a candidate. That's because they aren't interested in any kind of civil solution. They want war, which is what their puppet masters (France, UK, US, Israel) want.
In Response

by: Anonymous
July 06, 2012 6:24 PM
Sadly it is going to take someone to literally grab his arm and yank him from the sandbox whether he likes it or not, regardless of his tantrum.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugeesi
Henry Ridgwell
October 08, 2015 8:02 PM
Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs