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

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' at 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid