News / Middle East

UN Envoy: 'Everyone Ready to Assist' Syria Peace Talks

FILE - U.N.-Arab League peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi gestures during a stakeout following a meeting with top US and Russian officials on the Syrian conflict at the United Nations office in Geneva, January 11, 2013.
FILE - U.N.-Arab League peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi gestures during a stakeout following a meeting with top US and Russian officials on the Syrian conflict at the United Nations office in Geneva, January 11, 2013.
VOA News
The international envoy to Syria is holding out hope fresh peace talks can still take place in a matter of weeks.

U.N.-Arab League Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi spoke Friday in Beirut, following three days of talks in Syria, and expressed optimism that disagreements between world powers will not get in the way.

"We did not find any opposition to the idea of the conference in any country, and everyone is ready to assist. Surely every country has its opinion, problems, concerns about what may happen in this conference. But I think everyone is aware that this is a very dangerous crisis and it does not threaten only the Syrian people - who are suffering as you know - but also threatens all the region," said Brahimi.

Rebels have balked at the proposed "Geneva 2" talks, demanding Syrian President Bashar al-Assad resign before they attend, but Brahimi said there would be no preconditions.

"In fact my opinion does not matter. There is an agreement that attending Geneva will be with no preconditions of any of the parties, and the goal is applying the statement of June 30 of last year," he said.

Syria's main rebel bloc, the National Coalition, meets next week to decide its position on the talks. Some Islamist rebels, who reject the bloc's leadership, warn they will view any participants as traitors.

Speaking earlier Friday in Damascus, Brahimi stressed it is the U.N. position that Iran, a key Assad supporter, attend the conference.

Meanwhile, Israeli warplanes were reported to have attacked a shipment of missiles at a Syrian military base near the port city of Latakia. Speaking anonymously Thursday, U.S. officials said the target of the Israeli airstrike was likely Russian missiles headed for the Islamic militant group Hezbollah.

The Lebanon-based Shi'ite group has been fighting alongside the Syrian government in its civil war against mainly Sunni Muslim rebels. It also fights the Jewish state.

Neither Israeli nor Syrian officials have confirmed the attack on the Syrian air base, which was hit late Wednesday or early Thursday. It is not clear if the strike succeeded in destroying the missiles.

Israel has reportedly attacked Russian or Iranian missile shipments inside Syria at least two other times this year, though it has not confirmed these attacks publicly.

Syria strongly protests the Israeli military intervention, but has so far failed to follow through on its threats of retaliation.

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
November 01, 2013 1:08 PM
Despite his failings, Bashar al Assad remains more credible than all the leaders of the opposition. As the incumbent leader, his exclusion from the peace negotiations as demanded by the opposition is an untenable precondition not acceptable by any standard. That will be tantamount to accepting the opposition without fair hearing of the regime's position. Agreed Assad may have overstayed his welcome, especially due the fact his family has ruled for decades, that does not mean he must be sacked unceremoniously. Nobody will accept such a fiasco. But it is rather better to go forward without the opposition even though it seems they have set the agenda for a transition.

The trouble in Syria is the popular opposition to continued domination of governance by the Assad family. The region, the people of Syria and the world at large appear to have accepted that agenda, with the exception of Russia, China, Iran and Hezbollah in Lebanon, which does not constitute a stalemate. The bloodshed in the country has reached a crescendo that no one wishes it should continue. The humanitarian crises is bugging the region and is creating additional troubles including an overflow of the crisis to Turkey, Lebanon and Israel. The suffering within the country is unspeakable, especially as it affects the minorities and Christians in the country. All that is needed now is to stop war and find a way forward, which can be with or without the opposition participating in a decision and organize election to bring in a new administration.

The UN can forge ahead without the opposition or regime - which ever one is posing the obstacle, and bring the war to an end by deploying UN forces in the country. My opinion is that it is preposterous for the opposition to ask for total exclusion of Bashar al Assad from the negotiation to return peace to Syria. If the opposition will continue to pose such obstacle insisting on that precondition, let the UN rather exclude the Opposition to forge peace deal for the country to return to peace and stop the blood shed. It seems to favor the agenda of the Opposition mostly constituted of terrorist groups to systematically eliminate elements in the country they would have fought through other means using the cover of rejection of Assad's participation in the talks until they fulfill their mission.


by: MarinesRus
November 01, 2013 8:50 AM
Israel knows it has no friends in the region.


by: LtCol V. S. Mitchel from: USA
November 01, 2013 12:24 AM
I just hope that the "Anonymous" Arab is not some rag head we have picked up from some stinking mass grave in the Iraqi desert... saved the f*** from Saddam and brought the filth with us to this country. That would be a shame. Either way, I just thought to add my name to the US Marine roar - Semper Fi Little Country!!! Love and Respect - Marines


by: Whistleblower from: D.C.
October 31, 2013 5:15 PM
ANYTHING the Syrians "have" that the Israelis want to take out, were provided and funded by the CIA. FACT. WAKE UP SHEEPLE!!!

In Response

by: Laura McPherson from: USA
November 01, 2013 2:46 AM
hey whistle-blower... try to blow on this... maybe the CIA had asked the Israelis to take out some sophisticated Russian equipment to facilitate an American strike should Basher renege on his commitment... never underestimate the US/Israel bond of brothers... irregardless of who stinks the WH...

In Response

by: Barabriko from: Jabel-jariim
October 31, 2013 10:22 PM
Israel never ever used chemical weapons against Arab women and children. But Bashar al Assad slaughtered his own people, including women, children and old people with weapons of mass destruction. Destroying stockpile of weapons from Syria by Israel is most welcome


by: Anonymous
October 31, 2013 5:08 PM
Israel is always carrying out aggression against others. It is an evil state and this must be stopped. The notion that Israel will forever kill Arabs and destroy their infrastructure is unacceptable , barbaric and a crime against humanity. UN should list Israel as a terrorist state for such unprovoked attacks on a sovereign nation. The scheme is to lure Assad into a futile war now that he has consistently outsmarted the warmonger Israel leaders.


by: Maj. Susillo V. from: Philippine Army
October 31, 2013 4:48 PM
truly a cut above... there is no one like you... Israel.

we, The Special Forces Regiment - Airborne
Salute you.


by: USMC from: USA
October 31, 2013 4:38 PM
I trust only the Israelis to complete the removal of Bashar's WMD's and the emasculation of his toxic chemical facilities...
Semper Fi, little country, Semper Fi

RESPECT!!!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid