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)
    x
    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

    Post-White House, Obamas to Rent Washington Mansion

    Nine-bedroom home is 3 kilometers from Oval Office, near capital's Embassy Row; rent estimated at around $22,000 a month

    Red Planet? Not so much!

    New research suggest that Mars is in a warm period between cyclical ice ages, and that during Ice Age Maximum over 500,000 years ago, the red planet was decidedly ice, and much whiter to the naked eye.

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora