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

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces Chaotic World, Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt 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.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid