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

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' at 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid