News / Middle East

Kerry, Lavrov Confident About Syrian Peace Plan

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, right, and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov talk in Kiruna, Sweden, Wednesday, May 15, 2013.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, right, and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov talk in Kiruna, Sweden, Wednesday, May 15, 2013.
VOA News
The United States and Russia say they believe they will soon convene peace talks to end the violence in Syria. At the United Nations, the General Assembly is expected to adopt a resolution Wednesday condemning the continued bloodshed there.
 
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told a joint news conference in Sweden that both he and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov are "very, very hopeful" that plans to hold a June peace conference in Geneva are progressing.
 
Lavrov agreed, saying Moscow and Washington are trying to mobilize support for the negotiations from Syria's government and opposition, as well as other countries concerned.
 
Kerry said the peace drive is based a proposal announced last year for the creation of a transitional government in Syria "with full executive authority by mutual consent," ambiguous wording which deliberately leaves President Bashar al-Assad's future role unclear.
 
UN vote

Also Wednesday, the U.N. General Assembly will vote on a non-binding resolution that condemns Syrian authorities and accepts the opposition Syrian National Coalition as party to a potential political transition.
 
The resolution, drafted by Qatar, notes the SNC's widespread international acceptance as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people.
 
The resolution also demands that Syria give a United Nations team free access to investigate alleged uses of chemical weapons. That team - authorized by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon - is ready to deploy, but Syria has not allowed them into the country.
 
Russia opposes the resolution, and diplomats say the document is expected to earn less support than a previous resolution the General Assembly passed last August.

  • This citizen journalism image provided by ENN shows black smoke rising from what rebels say is a helicopter that was shot down at Abu Dhour military airbase, Idlib, Syria, May 17, 2013.
  • A Free Syrian Army member prays next to the grave of a fellow fighter in a cemetery in Deir el-Zor, May 16, 2013.
  • Free Syrian Army members sit in a room inside a house in Deir el-Zor, May 16, 2013.
  • Crews demolish one of the damaged buildings at the site of the May 11 blast, in Reyhanli, Hatay province, May 15, 2013.
  • Members of the Free Syrian Army help a wounded fellow fighter in Deir al-Zor, May 14, 2013.
  • This image provided by Aleppo Media Center AMC shows the mother of a Syrian rebel cleaning a rifle, in Aleppo, May 14, 2013.
  • Syrians wait to cross back into Syria at the Turkish Cilvegozu border crossing in Reyhanli, Hatay province, May 14, 2013.
  • A view of the damaged Khalid ibn al Walid Mosque in Homs, Syria, May 14, 2013.
  • Syrian army soldiers inspect a house as they advance in on the village of Western Dumayna, near the rebel held city of Qusayr, May 13, 2013.
  • This citizen journalism image provided by Aleppo Media Center shows the famed 12th century Umayyad mosque in Aleppo, which was damaged by shelling, May 13, 2013.
 
More violence

Meanwhile, Syrian rebels launched a coordinated assault on the main prison in the northern city of Aleppo Wednesday in an attempt to free hundreds of government opponents being held there.
 
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said anti-government fighters detonated two car bombs outside the compound before storming the compound.
 
The Observatory said Aleppo's central prison is believed to be holding about 4,000 prisoners, including Islamists and common criminals.
 
An Israeli army spokeswoman said two projectiles fired from Syria hit Israeli-occupied Mount Hermon on Wednesday morning without causing damage or injuries. The popular resort site was initially closed for visitors, but reopened later in the day.
 
Syrian residents and a U.S. Internet monitoring company said Syria is experiencing a nationwide Internet outage. It is the second such cut-off in two weeks. 
 
The U.S.-based Renesys Corp. said Syria went offline Wednesday morning at 10:00 a.m. local time.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ozrombayev from: Russia
May 15, 2013 11:16 AM
Russia will let Kerry and Obama play their silly games of pretending "progress" on Syria... but really nothing will change... Obama is a media creation - a dumn clown made of Papier Mache - Putin knows it, EU knows it, it seems that only Americans don't know it... Hey America, Bart Simpson is more real than Obama... keep your "affirmative action" and "social Promotion" - and you will destroy yourselves...

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs