World News

Kerry Says Negotiations Only Way to End Syrian Bloodshed

Efforts to end two-and-a-half years of bloodshed in Syria are meeting with complications that could further delay a negotiated settlement.



Officials from 11 nations known as the Friends of Syria met Tuesday with members of the Syrian opposition in London. But despite urging from both the United States and Britain, the Syrian opposition has yet to agree to attend a hoped for conference in Geneva.

Syrian National Coalition President Ahmad Jarba said there can be no talks until there is a clear plan for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to leave.



''If some countries would feel the discomfort from the humanitarian situation, due to al-Assad's massacres and wish to wash their hands at the expense of dirtying our hands with a humiliating position, you will hear us say no five times rather than three. No negotiations, no reconciliation, no recognition, no retreat and no to international isolation. However, if the aim was to remove the criminal from power and the war criminals are tried, then we welcome Geneva 2. These are our true demands and this is where we stand, and to build on these principles, together we will rid Syria and the region of the spreading fire. These are requests not conditions. But Geneva 2 cannot be a success without these.''



U.S. and British officials again urged all sides to sit down and talk, with British Foreign Secretary William Hague adding Mr. Assad will eventually have to step down.



"We are as clear as he is that Assad has no role in a peaceful and democratic Syria."



U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry also warned against pursuing an armed end to the conflict.



"We believe the path of war will simply lead to the implosion of the state of Syria. It will lead to the rise of extremist groups and extremism itself. It will lead to more refugees spilling over the borders and putting strains on surrounding countries. And it will further destabilize the region and lead ultimately to the disintegration of the Syrian state."



The fighting in Syria has killed more than 100,000 people and forced millions from their homes since March 2011.



President Assad further cast doubts on possible peace talks in an interview that aired Monday night on Lebanon's Al-Mayadeen TV.



"There is no date or factors that will help for it [the conference] to be held. Who are the groups that will participate in Geneva? What is their relationship with the Syrian people? Do they represent the Syrian people? Do they represent the country that made them?"



Mr. Assad also said he sees no reason why he should not run for reelection in 2014.

Tuesday's meeting in London brought together officials from Britain, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United States and the United Arab Emirates.

A communique issued following the meeting said the 11 nations would continue to "channel support to the National Coalition and the Supreme Military Council of the Free Syrian Army."

Secretary Kerry has been working with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.N.-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi to try to arrange peace talks in Geneva by the end of next month.












is that Assad has no role in a peaceful and democratic Syria."
3. British Foreign Secretary William Hague saying:
"Sectarianism and extremism are growing all the time this conflict goes on and that's why it's important we work so closely with them , that we don't abandon them, that we keep faith with them."))

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs