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

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Works to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Smithsonian senior research botanist Vicki Funk says ultimate goal is 'trying to get one-half of the diversity of plant life on Earth at the genus level in two years' More

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

Report from member of British think tank says Russian extradition requests keep targets from traveling More

US Lawmakers Weigh Turkish Anti-terror Moves

Turkey’s two-pronged campaign against Islamic State militants, Kurdish PKK forces provokes mixed reactions on Capitol Hill 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.
Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponentsi
X
Henry Ridgwell
July 28, 2015 9:53 PM
A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video Special Olympics Athletes Meet International Friends

The Special Olympics are underway in Los Angeles, California, with athletes from 165 countries participating in an event that gives people with intellectual disabilities the chance to take part in an international competition. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that for athletes and their families, it's also an opportunity to make new friends in an international setting.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs