News / Middle East

Iran, Hezbollah Leaders Meet in Syria

TEXT SIZE - +

The head of Lebanon's Hezbollah militant group has met with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Syria.

Part of their Thursday evening meeting aired on Syrian television.

The Syrian Arab News Agency said the men met at a dinner hosted by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.  Hezbollah's Al-Manar television says Mr. Ahmadinejad and Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah discussed "the latest developments" in the region, and Israeli threats against Lebanon and Syria.

Earlier this month, Iranian state media reported Mr. Ahmadinejad vowed to stand by Hezbollah and urged the militant group to "get rid" of Israel once and for all if a war breaks out.

Mr. Ahmadinejad was in Damascus for talks with Mr. Assad aimed at strengthening ties between Iran and Syria.  In their talks, the two presidents pledged unity and signed an agreement ending the need for travel visas between their countries.

On Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on Syria to distance itself from Iran, which the United States wants to isolate for its nuclear program and its support of Hezbollah and Hamas militants.

Mr. Assad pledged support for Iran's nuclear program Thursday and said U.S. concerns go against the Obama administration's calls for stability and peace in the Middle East.  

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley told reporters in Washington Thursday that Mr. Assad needs to look around the region and realize that Syria is "increasingly an outlier."

Crowley urged Syria to play a more constructive role in the region, including making clear what Iran needs to do differently.

The U.S. has been seeking to improve relations with Damascus - nominating a new ambassador to Syria for the first time since 2005 - while putting more pressure on Iran because of its nuclear program.

President Ahmadinejad said Thursday the U.S. should abandon its efforts in the region, and that he envisions a new Middle East without American influence and without Israel.

The United States and other world powers accuse Iran of seeking to build a nuclear weapon, a charge that Tehran denies.  

Syria was accused of conducting covert nuclear activities in a recent report by the United Nations atomic energy agency.  That report based its conclusions on uranium particles found at a Syrian facility destroyed in an Israeli air raid in 2007.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid