News / Middle East

Kerry: NATO Needs Plan for Chemical Weapons in Syria

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry gestures during a news conference, at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, April 23, 2013.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry gestures during a news conference, at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, April 23, 2013.
VOA News
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says NATO must consider its role in the Syrian conflict, including how it will respond to any potential use of chemical weapons.

The top U.S. diplomat spoke Tuesday at a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the alliance is very concerned about the use of ballistic missiles in Syria and the possible use of chemical weapons.

Earlier Tuesday, a senior Israeli military intelligence analyst, Brigadier General Itai Brun, said Israel has evidence Syrian forces have used lethal chemical weapons against rebels several times in recent months. He said nerve gas is possibly among the weapons used.

Kerry said he spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the general's allegation, but that Netanyahu was not able to confirm it. Kerry also said whatever allegations are made must be fully investigated.

"I just think that the information I have at this point does not confirm it to me in a way that I would be comfortable commenting on it as a fact." said Kerry. "But obviously whatever allegations are made have to be thoroughly investigated, and it is appropriate to chase this one down and find out what's going on, no question about it."

Syria has rejected a request by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to allow inspectors into the country to investigate claims Syria is using chemical weapons.

Syria's government and rebels opposed to President Bashar al-Assad have traded accusations about the use of chemical weapons.

Rasmussen also said NATO will not intervene in the Syrian conflict despite the threat the violence poses to security on the alliance's southeastern border. He said, however, NATO cannot ignore the risks of a regional spillover with possible implications for allied security.

Earlier this year, the alliance deployed Patriot anti-missile batteries along member Turkey's border with Syria, after artillery fire hit several villages.

Shortly after Tuesday's meeting began, NATO condemned North Korea's nuclear weapons program and threatening rhetoric. The alliance said Pyongyang's actions violate U.N. Security Council resolutions and undermine regional stability.

Tuesday's talks marked the first time Kerry met with his NATO contemporaries since taking his current post in January. On Wednesday, he will host a meeting in Brussels with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and senior Pakistani officials.

You May Like

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

Analysts say move by President Xi is an effort to win more party support, take step toward economic reforms, removing those who would stand in way of change More

South Africa Land Reforms Still Contentious 20 Years Later

Activists argue that the pace of land reform is slow and biased; legal experts question how some proposed reforms would be implemented More

In Vietnam, Religious Freedoms Violated, UN Finds

Beliefs reportedly prompt heavy surveillance, intimidation and travel restrictions More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid