News / Middle East

Kerry, Hague Discuss Boosting Support for Syrian Opposition

Kerry, Hague Discuss Boosting Support for Syrian Oppositioni
X
June 13, 2013 12:41 PM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and British Foreign Secretary William Hague say a political solution is the only way to end the Syrian crisis. But as fighting continues, the two men met in Washington to discuss ways to increase support for Syrian rebels. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and British Foreign Secretary William Hague say a political solution is the only way to end the Syrian crisis. But as fighting continues, the two men met in Washington to discuss ways to increase support for Syrian rebels.

With no letup to the fighting, governments backing opposition forces are considering new ways to support the rebellion against embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, with government troops now massing near rebel-held parts of the city of Aleppo.

"The regime appears to be preparing new assaults, endangering the lives and safety of hundreds of thousands of Syrians who are already in desperate need,"
British Foreign Secretary William Hague said.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the danger is made worse by Assad allies Hezbollah and Iran.

"So we are focusing our efforts now on doing all that we can to support the opposition as they work to change the balance on the ground," he said.

Related video report by Meredith Buel:

Shift in Syria War Prompts US to Mull Optionsi
X
June 13, 2013 9:35 PM
As forces supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad gain momentum in recent advances on the battlefield, the Obama administration is reviewing potential military options, including arming some Syrian rebel factions. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports from Washington.
Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov are working toward talks on a new transitional authority for Syria. That will be the focus of next week's G8 summit, said  host British Prime Minister David Cameron.

"We should use the G8 to try and bring pressure on all sides to bring about what we all want in this House," Cameron said, " a peace conference, a peace process and a move towards a transitional government in Syria. And I'm delighted to tell the House President Putin will be coming in advance of the G8 for meetings on Sunday when we can discuss this."

President Putin said Western democracies backing the opposition do not understand what is happening in Syria.

"Some people who are looking from the outside think that, if they can paint this entire region with someone's favorite brush - and this brush is democracy - then there will be peace and order, but this is not true. You cannot do anything - especially from the outside - without taking into account the history, tradition and religious specifics of this region," Putin said.

The conflict has sent tens of thousands of refugees into Jordan and Lebanon and Turkey, adding to pressure for a political solution, says U.S. Institute of Peace analyst Steve Heydemann.

"I think world leaders feel that, unless they can find some way to get the parties together, begin to get them talking, we will confront a disaster in which perhaps half of all Syrians - 11 million people - will be in need of assistance by the end of this year," Heydemann said.

Hague said the scale of human suffering inflicted by President Assad "begs belief."

"The campaign of murder and tyranny that they have waged for more than 800 days now is not only a moral outrage, it's a grave threat to the wider region. It's a danger to our own national security," he said.

Having discussed "what further options might be exercised" in Syria, Hague and Kerry had nothing to announce.

You May Like

Brutality Eroding IS Financial Support

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says IS's penchant for publicizing beheadings, other brutal forms of punishment hurts group’s bottom line More

Studies: Climate Change a Factor in Disasters in Syria, California

Studies point to possibility of clear and present dangers from a threat often considered to be far in the future More

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukrainei
X
March 03, 2015 3:11 AM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video US, Cuba Report Progress in Latest Talks to Restore Ties

The United States and Cuba say they have made progress in the second round of talks on restoring diplomatic relations more than 50 years after breaking off ties. Delegations from both sides met in Washington on Friday to work on opening embassies in Havana and Washington and iron out key obstacles to historic change. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas reports from the State Department.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video NYC's Restaurant Week: An Economic Boom in Fine Dining

New Yorkers take pride in setting world trends — in fashion, the arts and fine dining. The city’s famous biannual Restaurant Week plays a significant role in a booming tourism industry that sustains 359,000 jobs and generates $61 billion in yearly revenue. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
Video

Video Brookhaven at Cutting Edge of US Energy Research

Issues like the Keystone XL pipeline, fracking and instability in the Middle East are driving debate in the U.S. about making America energy independent. Recently, the American Energy Innovation Council urged Congress and the White House to make expanded energy research a priority. One beneficiary of increased energy spending would be the Brookhaven National Lab, where clean, renewable, efficient energy is the goal. VOA's Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More