News / Middle East

NATO Chief Backs US Threat of Force Against Syria

NATO Chief Backs US Threat of Force Against Syriai
X
September 25, 2013 3:32 PM
NATO's Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen says the United States should maintain its threat of military action against Syria to push forward a deal on that country's chemical weapons. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns spoke to the NATO head and has this report.
— NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen says the United States should keep up its threat of military action against Syria so as to push forward a deal to end Syria's chemical weapons program. 

Rasmussen says it was the threat of a U.S. missile strike that forced Syria into agreeing on a framework to destroy its chemical weapons, so there is no reason to remove that threat.

"The military option should stay on the table because it will facilitate continued momentum in that political process," he said.

In an interview with VOA at the opening of the U.N. General Assembly, Rasmussen called for strong Security Council action to enforce the plan to eliminate or remove 1,000 metric tons of Syrian chemical weapons by the middle of next year.

"Now I urge the Security Council to adopt a firm and binding resolution that can create the framework for a swift, secure, and verifiable elimination of all chemical weapons in Syria," he said.

Russia is resisting U.S., French, and British efforts to include language in a resolution imposing consequences on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad if he fails to comply with the chemical weapons deal. Consequences under a Chapter Seven U.N. resolution could be sanctions or force.

NATO has air defense missiles in Turkey guarding against cross-border Syrian air strikes, but Rasmussen does not foresee the alliance taking a more active role in the Syrian crisis beyond what individual members might contribute to the chemical weapons plan.

On Afghanistan, Rasmussen says he is confident that next year's presidential election can take place in a secure environment ahead of the withdrawal of NATO forces by the end of 2014.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid