News / Middle East

Obama: US Now Recognizes New Syrian Opposition Coalition

Obama National Christmas TreeObama National Christmas Tree
x
Obama National Christmas Tree
Obama National Christmas Tree
President Barack Obama has announced formal U.S. recognition of the Syrian opposition coalition, calling it the legitimate representative of the Syrian people. 
 
The announcement comes after months in which Obama and U.S. officials carefully assessed capabilities and the composition of the Syrian opposition, and the cohesiveness of the new coalition formed in Qatar in November.
 
The president made the announcement during an interview with Barbara Walters of ABC News on the eve of a meeting in Morocco of Syrian opposition leaders and supporters.
 
"We made a decision that the Syrian opposition coalition is now inclusive enough, is reflective and representative enough of the Syrian population," he said. 
 
The United States lagged behind other countries and regional groupings in recognizing the coalition, including France, Britain, Turkey and the Gulf Cooperation Council.
 
The announcement came on the eve of the meeting in Morocco of the Syrian opposition and supporters. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns is attending the Friends of Syria meeting.
 
Press secretary Jay Carney told reporters, before the announcement of recognition, that the U.S. has been pleased with the progress made so far by the opposition and looks to a future Syria without President Bashar al-Assad.
 
"As we look to tomorrow’s meeting and our ongoing efforts to support the Syrian people, let me be absolutely clear:  The United States stands with the Syrian people in insisting that any transition process result in a peaceful, unified, democratic Syria, in which all citizens are protected -- Sunni, Alawite, Christians, Kurds, Druze, men, women and children.  And a future of this kind cannot include Bashar al-Assad," he said. 
 
At the same time, Carney reiterated that the U.S. has no plans to supply anything but non-lethal and humanitarian aid to the opposition.
 
Carney also underscored President Obama's warning against any use by the Syrian government of chemical weapons, saying there would be consequences if they are used.
 
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta suggested on Tuesday that there is less concern now about the use of chemical weapons. 

You May Like

Brutality Eroding IS Financial Support

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says IS's penchant for publicizing beheadings, other brutal forms of punishment hurts group’s bottom line More

Studies: Climate Change a Factor in Disasters in Syria, California

The studies point to the possibility of clear and present dangers from a threat often considered to be far in the future More

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Michael from: USA
December 12, 2012 9:56 AM
The French opened the way from it's age-old love affair with Syria. Syria was the springboard upon which early Christianity was launched into the world

by: Dr. Malek Towghi from: USA
December 12, 2012 4:01 AM
Will any one of our 'picks' among the rebels -- or any of our anti-Assad Arab-Muslim 'allies', e.g. Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan -- openly and sincerely dissociate with the "Nusrah Front" and other openly anti-USA Sunni Jihadi terrorist outfits in Syria?

President Obama, Please, stay out of the mess.

by: Igor from: Russia
December 11, 2012 10:40 PM
Mr.Obama's recognition is similar to previous US presidents's recognition of the Khmer Rouge regime in the UN after that regime genocided nearly 3 million Cambodians and then ousted by Vietnam army. The West recognized the Khmer Rouge in the UN until 1993 as long as it was the enemy of Vietnam no matter what crime against humanity that regime had made. Do not believe in the West's double standard!!!
In Response

by: venze from: Malaysia
December 12, 2012 9:33 PM
Well, in the political arena, the enemy of one's enemy becomes one's friend, no matter how short-lived that may be.
On the one hand, US tries desperately to eliminate the terrorists. On the other, it supports the front that consists of extremists. Madness. (vzc1943)

by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
December 11, 2012 9:04 PM
It is still hard to comprehend, as to why??? Russia and Mr. Putin have not joined all the nations working on the transition of Syrian gvmts. The rest of the countries are trying to organize a transition to reduce/minimize the possibility of a long power vacuum; all have a direct national interests, on the Syrian debacle and need to manage Assad's doomed situation. Well maybe the issue wrt the nationl interests of Russia needs to be spelled out! If an orderly transition, under a UN agreement/mandate/supervision/monitoring/enforcement does not take place" A GREAT POSSIBILITY EXISTS THAT SYRIA'S FAILED GVMT WEAPONS, WHICH RUSSIA SUPPLIED, WILL FALL IN THE WRONG HANDS, AND END UP IN RUSSIA'S CAUCUSES / CHECHNYA REGION". Given that the weapons were of Russian origin, they are indistinguishable from those used by Russia; especially the older versions, of which Assad has many. Terrorist groups prefer to use local type of weapons, when possible, for obvious reasons (trg/use/handling/storage/familiarity.....etc). It is shear folly as to why? Mr. Putin is not rapidly addressing the issue of working towards a controlled transition in Syria, rather than allowing a potential power vacuum. Russia, US, allies, including the Arab nations backing the opposition, need to work rapidly towards an orderly transition of power- not just for the sake of ending the terrible suffering of all the Syrian people, but even for their own security interests.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukrainei
X
March 03, 2015 3:11 AM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video US, Cuba Report Progress in Latest Talks to Restore Ties

The United States and Cuba say they have made progress in the second round of talks on restoring diplomatic relations more than 50 years after breaking off ties. Delegations from both sides met in Washington on Friday to work on opening embassies in Havana and Washington and iron out key obstacles to historic change. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas reports from the State Department.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video NYC's Restaurant Week: An Economic Boom in Fine Dining

New Yorkers take pride in setting world trends — in fashion, the arts and fine dining. The city’s famous biannual Restaurant Week plays a significant role in a booming tourism industry that sustains 359,000 jobs and generates $61 billion in yearly revenue. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
Video

Video Brookhaven at Cutting Edge of US Energy Research

Issues like the Keystone XL pipeline, fracking and instability in the Middle East are driving debate in the U.S. about making America energy independent. Recently, the American Energy Innovation Council urged Congress and the White House to make expanded energy research a priority. One beneficiary of increased energy spending would be the Brookhaven National Lab, where clean, renewable, efficient energy is the goal. VOA's Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More