News / Middle East

Kerry to London for Friends of Syria Meeting

Kerry to London for Friends of Syria Meetingi
X
May 14, 2014 4:06 AM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry travels to London Wednesday for a meeting of foreign ministers from nations backing opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports that those countries are boosting their support for the rebellion, in the absence of talks on a transitional government for Damascus.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry travels to London Wednesday for a meeting of foreign ministers from nations backing opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Those countries are boosting their support for the rebellion in the absence of talks on a transitional government for Damascus.
 
With rebel and government forces battling for control of areas in the northern province of Hama, prolonged international efforts to find a political solution to the crisis are on hold.
 
Stepping down as the chief international mediator, Lakhdar Brahimi pointed out that Syria's conflict eventually will end.
 
"The question is how many more dead, how much more destruction there is going to be before Syria becomes again the Syria we have known?" asked Brahimi.
 
Kerry said President Assad is blocking a political solution.
 
"This represents the continuation of the stubborn clinging to power of a man who is willing to drop barrel bombs on his people, to gas them, to shell artillery on innocent civilians, to starve people in their homes, and somehow claim a right to be able to run a country. I don't think the civilized world is going to stand for that," said Kerry.
 
President Assad is running for re-election, denouncing his opponents as terrorists who he says are fighting to topple Syrian democracy. It's a strong position for the president, said former U.S. ambassador Adam Ereli.
 
"Bashar al-Assad is not going to make any concessions, is not going to negotiate in good faith, is not going to entertain any kind of change to the status quo as long as he's sitting pretty. And he is sitting pretty. He's in control," said Ereli.
 
Syrian opposition leaders want more from the international community to break President Assad's control.
 
"We are asking to be able to neutralize that air force so that the Assad regime understands that it cannot win this militarily. If the Assad regime is pressured, we believe that the sponsors, the Russians and the Iranians, will understand that there is no way but a political solution," said Rime Allaf, a senior advisor to the Syrian Opposition Coalition.
 
Absent a political solution, the international community must do more to protect civilians, said Human Rights Watch deputy Washington director Sarah Margon.
 
"There needs to be a change. There needs to be a reason for all parties to come to the table. But even before that, I think what we're looking at is just basic fundamental calls for civilians not to be stuck in the middle of this conflict. Children should not be starved," said Margon.
 
Secretary Kerry and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius say the London meeting also will press Syria's government to comply with a deal to hand over its remaining stockpiles of chemical weapons.

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infectionsi
X
November 28, 2014 3:31 PM
South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infections

South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.

All About America

AppleAndroid