News / Middle East

Kerry Calls On UN Security Council to Act on Syria

John Kerry talks about Syria and chemical weapons ahead of next week's United Nations General Assembly, Sept. 19, 2013.
John Kerry talks about Syria and chemical weapons ahead of next week's United Nations General Assembly, Sept. 19, 2013.
Zlatica Hoke
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has called on the United Nations Security Council to act in unison to ensure the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons.  In an address Thursday in Washington, Kerry spoke of the importance of enforceable actions to rid the world of Syria's chemical weapons and  aid a decisive action by the U.N. Security Council would help avoid a military strike on Syria and rid the world of the banned weapons.
 
"We need everyone's help in order to see that the Security Council lives up to its founding values and passes a binding resolution that codifies the strongest possible mechanism to achieve the goal and to achieve it rapidly. We need to make the Geneva agreement meaningful," said Kerry.
 
Kerry and his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, agreed at a meeting in Geneva last week to remove Syria's chemical weapons from President Bashar al-Assad's control.  Kerry insisted that the removal be real and verifiable. 
 
President Assad denies that his forces have used chemical weapons and accuses the opposition of using the deadly gas to spark international outrage.  Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated that position on Thursday.
 
"What if the opposition used them? Nobody says what we are to do in that case with the opposition.  And it's not an idle question. We have every reason to believe that it is a provocation. A sly and ingenious one, but at the same time the execution is primitive. They took old Soviet-made ammunition that has been long removed from the stock in the Syrian army," said Putin.
 
Kerry said the U.N. report confirms unequivocally that the Syrian government used its chemical weapons stockpile.
 
"The world can decide whether it was used by the regime, which has used chemical weapons before, the regime which had the rockets, and the weapons, or whether the opposition secretly went unnoticed into territory they don't control to fire the rockets they don't have, containing sarin that they don't possess, to kill their own people, and that without even being noticed they just dissembled it all and packed up and got out of the center of Damascus, controlled by Assad. Please!"
 
The U.S.-Russian agreement calls for the elimination of all Syrian chemical weapons by the middle of next year.  The government in Damascus is to allow U.N. inspectors to start working on the project by November.

You May Like

US, Brazil's Climate-Change Plan: More Renewables, Less Deforestation

Officials say joint initiative on climate change will allow Brazil, United States to strengthen and accelerate cooperation on issues ranging from land use to clean energy More

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Reporting from Somali capital for past decade, Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal has been working at one of Mogadishu's leading radio stations covering parliament More

After Nearly a Century, Voodoo Opera Rises Again

Opera centers on character named Lolo, a Louisiana plantation worker and Voodoo priestess More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: van from: vn
September 20, 2013 12:10 PM
why did russia dare to separate Georgie into Apkhadia and osesstia ?why dare not Us and nato separate Syria into 2 part: one for Assad and one for Rebels? why?why?why?
it's out of time for us and nato, right? so shameful .

by: van from: vn
September 20, 2013 12:01 PM
i think the us has been led by the nose in syria case .what a shame!

by: van from: vietnam
September 20, 2013 4:47 AM
i am not surprised to know that nearly 60% of Americans donot like Chinese. if surveyed in VietNam, i think about 97-98% don't like China.
i am sure

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishui
X
Abdulaziz Billow
June 30, 2015 2:16 PM
Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impact

Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Syrian Refugees Return to Tal Abyad

Syrian refugees in Turkey confirm they left their hometown of Tal Abyad because of intense fighting and coalition airstrikes, not because Kurdish fighters were engaged in ethnic cleansing, as some Turkish officials charged. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer, in Tal Abyad, finds that civilians coming back to the town agree, as we hear in this report narrated by Roger Wilkison.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs