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

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

Audio 'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book 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.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs