News / Middle East

    Obama to Speak With Putin on Syria at G8 Summit

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, center left, works with British Prime Minister David Cameron, center right, to award Russian Ushakov medals to Arctic Convoy Veterans, in London, June 16, 2013.
    Russian President Vladimir Putin, center left, works with British Prime Minister David Cameron, center right, to award Russian Ushakov medals to Arctic Convoy Veterans, in London, June 16, 2013.
    VOA News
    U.S. President Barack Obama has arrived in Northern Ireland where he will attend a G8 summit likely to be dominated by the U.S. decision to arm Syrian rebels.

    The summit on Monday and Tuesday at an Irish resort will bring together leaders of the world's top economies.

    Obama plans to meet there with Russian President Vladimir Putin for talks on the Syrian conflict. The Russian leader has supported the government of embattled Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.

    On Sunday, Putin said countries must not arm fighters who eat human flesh, a reference to a video that emerged last month of a rebel appearing to eat the organ of a dead Syrian soldier.

    The G8 summit also will focus on boosting the world's sluggish economies.

    The G8 countries - England, France, Canada, Japan, Italy, Germany, Russia and the United States - account for 50 percent of the world's economic output. But to varying degrees they have struggled to emerge from the depths of the recession in 2008 and 2009.

    The White House said last week that President Obama intends to brief the other seven leaders at the summit about the U.S. plan to arm Syrian rebels. The U.S. decided last week to send weapons to the rebels, declaring it had evidence that Assad's forces have used chemical weapons.

    The White House also said Obama will speak about his continuing support for the U.S. National Security Agency's surveillance of telephone records of U.S. citizens and the monitoring of foreign nationals' use of the Internet.

    You May Like

    Russian-Backed Offensive in Syria Pushes War to Tipping Point

    As threat to Aleppo and rebel forces grows, US plan to negotiate becomes less and less appealing for Syrian government, says one military analyst

    IS Runs Timber Smuggling Business in Afghanistan, Officials Say

    Government turning blind eye to smuggling, according to tribal leaders; Afghanistan's forest cover dropped by 50 percent in three decades, experts say

    Video White House Seeks $1.8 Billion to Combat Zika

    Obama administration says funding would 'support essential strategies to combat the virus' such as rapidly expanding mosquito control programs, accelerating vaccine research

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Gennady from: Russia, Volga Region
    June 19, 2013 9:01 PM
    To Igor!
    It looks that you’ve run out of any argument for your latest comment Your reference to the West is absolutely fabulous, it’s a cock and bull tale and a clotted nonsense, it’s neither where the elder is, nor in Kiev where uncle lives. Only you still don’t know that THERE’S evidence to prove that Assad’s regime has used the chemical weapon by hundreds simultaneously affected by neuroparalytic agent. It’s insane to blame the West for instigating sectarian hatred in Syria and the civil war against the bloody dictator Assad who for a long time denied basic human rights to people of Syria. The same we see in RUSSIA. You suggest me to emigrate, don’t you? Putin’s regime on the pattern of Assad’s regime wants all of the opposing his unlawful rule to emigrate from Russia after the rigged election, liquidated all NGO that monitored crucial elections in the largest country, after gagged mass media, numerous political trials, after undeclared state of emergency all over Russia when basic human Rights and Freedoms of Man and Citizen stipulated in articles 17.1, 22.1, 27, 29.1, 29.5,31, 56.1 of Russian Constitution permanently denied for Russian people.

    by: Gennady from: Russia, Volga Region
    June 17, 2013 8:23 AM
    To Igor!
    As many times before, you couldn’t miss your opportunity to promote Mr. Putin’s regime, speculate on the ONLY provocative video posted on YouTube you’ve referred to and as usually to insult me. Mr. Putin’s propaganda machine is happy with the provocateur. Unfortunately, no country in the world may be guaranteed from provocateurs even in rank and file of Russia’s FSB.

    But how can you and those like you compare the ONLY provocative video with facts of Assad’s regime using the chemical weapon, being responsible in deaths of 63 thousand civilians and huge damage to property, forcing millions of people to flee from the horrors, in the humanitarian catastrophe? As for me, I’m unsure that the video with the horrible footage wasn’t specially planted by a certain country that supports bloody Assad regime and is willing to compromise opposition to bloody Assad regime at any cost. No wonder that contrary to the evidence by the UK and the USA, Mr. Putin denies the fact of Assad’s regime using the chemical weapon.
    In Response

    by: Igor from: Russia
    June 17, 2013 11:20 AM
    Gennady, do you have any evidence to prove that Assad’s regime is using the chemical weapon? Or you only believe blindly in the propaganda machine of the West which has proved itself in the Iraq war! I blame the West for instigating sectarian hatred in Syria leading to the civil war, causing the death of more than 90,000 people and making many homeless. If you only believe unconditionally in the US and the UK, you should migrate to such countries to live because you are not a Russian. Do you know how many times in history have Russia been invaded by western enemies? Have you learnt any from history?

    by: Davis K. Thanjan from: New York
    June 16, 2013 9:10 PM
    Putin questions US offer of supply of weapons to Free Syrian Army (FSA), while he continues supply of anti-ship and anti-aircraft missiles to Assad! US is discussing with Russia for political resolution of the blood shed in Syria, because US has no intention to supply advanced weapons requested by the FSA! The vicious cycle of UN resolutions, negotiations and conferences continue with no end in sight for the human disaster in Syria.

    by: Gennady from: Russia, Volga Region
    June 16, 2013 8:35 PM
    Mr Putin has used his reference to the European humanitarian values hypocritically as a shield, as a hostage to his backing of bloody Assad regime, to justify his arming of “the legitimate” government of Syria, as he put it. What kind a government is legitimate after slaughtering more than 90 thousand of its citizens and forcing millions to flee the country? So, does it mean that with Mr. Putin in G8 (or G7+ one) the world hasn’t got any prospect to end the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria?
    In Response

    by: Igor from: Russia
    June 17, 2013 1:32 AM
    Gennady, you are totally wrong! Our country is completely right to continue deliver air defense systems to Syria because the systems can only be used to defense Syria's air base. They cannot be used against the rebels because the rebels have no airfighters. Also, we have to respect the contracts signed with Syria. Another reason is that Syria is one of our allies.

    The USA must be shameful of itself for deciding to arm the rebels which are mainly terrorists and led by terrorists. Those terrorists are not human beings because they are eating human organs.

    You must have been fooled by the western media while saying the regime has slaughtered 90 thousand people. In fact, most of them died as the result of war they were people belonging to both sides plus innocent citizens. If you sympathy with any man eating animal, you are like them, no more, no less. One day I will not be surprised by the news that you have killed some poor person and have eaten his organs and then upload the video on the net.

    by: Gennady from: Russia, Volga Region
    June 16, 2013 8:06 PM
    In the article Mr Putin reffered to European humanitarian values. I wonder if he really knows anything about them or the reference is a convenient way for him to ruthlessly pursue his own agenda having nothing with European humanitarian values. How did he himself observe the values in rigged elections, in liquidating all NGO monitoring elections in the largest country , in gagging mass media, in staging numerous political trials, in forcing all his opponents to flee Russia, in undeclared state of emergency all over Russia when Rights and Freedoms of Man and Citizen stipulated in articles 17.1, 22.1, 27, 29.1, 29.5,31, 56.1 of Russian Constitution are permanently denied for Russian people, in cutting the Internet for all trying to have their say???

    by: Paddy from: Australia
    June 16, 2013 7:15 PM
    I think its a BIG mistake to arm the rebels (Al-Qaeda, Terrorists, insurgents, radicals, Islam extremists, Jihads) because they will use the weapons to kill Americans. They will rip your heart out and eat it and that's not the type of people who should rule any country.

    by: Anonymous
    June 16, 2013 6:34 PM
    Who is a better person? Someone who eats an organ or someone guilty of bombing unarmed civilian areas and killing over 50 000 innocent civilians? Both are crazy but Assad is guilty of more crimes times 50 000.

    by: Anonymous
    June 16, 2013 6:28 PM
    Putin is such an idiot lol. The one video showing a rebel eating organs is a single isolated case. In fact the guy likely is psycho. Putin has to learn you cannot kill upwards of 50,000 unarmed civilians and get away with it. Assad has killed more innocent people than anyone else in Syria or even bin laden. For Putin to bring up an isolated issue like that just shows how stupid he is and how he is trying any excuse he can to try and make Assad seem like a nice guy. Suggestion to Putin, just be quiet you look like an idiot in front of the world. Justice will be served to Assad whether Putin likes it or not. Putin had best be worried about being liked in Russia and the rest of the world. His childlike decisions and what he says is not working for him or his nation. Not many Russians like him no wonder. If only Putin was a reasonable person he would actually be liked but he chooses to be an idiot instead.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenyai
    X
    February 08, 2016 4:30 PM
    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video Sanders, Clinton Battle for Young Democratic Vote

    Despite a narrow loss to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in last week's Iowa Democratic caucuses, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders secured more than 80 percent of the vote among those between the ages of 18 and 29. VOA correspondent Aru Pande talks to Democrats in New Hampshire about who they are leaning towards and why in this week's primary.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.