News / Middle East

US Urges UN Action Against Syria

United States Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, right, speaks to United Kingdom Foreign Secretary William Hague before a UN Security Council meeting on the situation in Syria,  Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012.
United States Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, right, speaks to United Kingdom Foreign Secretary William Hague before a UN Security Council meeting on the situation in Syria, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the United Nations must act to end what she calls the Syrian government's "divide and conquer" strategy against its own people. But Russia vows to veto any U.N. action against its allies in Damascus.

A Look at the Arab League

  • The League of Arab States, or Arab League, is an association of 22 Arab states, based in Cairo.

  • It was founded on March 22, 1945 in Cairo, with the aim of strengthening the relationships between member states through political, cultural and economic cooperation.

  • The first six members of the organization were Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan (later renamed Jordan), Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Syria. Yemen joined a few months later

  • Nabil Elaraby was elected secretary-general of the Arab League in May 2011.

  • Syria's membership was suspended in November 2011, following bloodshed caused by brutal government crackdowns on pro-democracy protests.

  • On Jan. 22, 2012, the Arab League proposed to Syria that President Bashar al-Assad should transfer power to a deputy and form a national unity government within two months. The plan was rejected by Syria.

After meeting with her French and British colleagues in New York, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton went before the United Nations Security Council to support Arab League action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. "The United States urges the Security Council to back the Arab League’s demand that the Syrian government immediately stop all attacks against civilians and guarantee the freedom of peaceful demonstrations," she said.

Secretary Clinton says President Assad has driven his country to the brink of chaos and the longer he continues, the harder it will be to rebuild Syria once he is gone. "We all know that change is coming to Syria.  Despite its ruthless tactics, the Assad regime’s reign of terror will end and the people of Syria will chart their own destiny.  The question is how many more innocent civilians will die before this country is able to move forward to the kind of future it deserves," she said.

But Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says U.N. action could make the situation even worse. "An essential element of any U.N. resolution must be the firm statement that this resolution can not be interpreted to justify any kind of outside military intervention in Syria," he said.

Steve Heydemann, a Middle East analyst for the United States Institute of Peace, says Moscow fears a change of government in Damascus would weaken Russia's position. "If the regime were to change and Syria were to move in a more pro-Western direction, I think the Russians would view that as a blow to their strategic posture in the region. And so one of the things that the U.S. might do is to offer reassurances to the Russians that even if a process of regime transition happens in Syria, they won't be left out," he said.

In order to avert a Russian veto, U.S. officials say they are ready to work with all U.N. members to pass a resolution supporting Arab League efforts to end the crisis. Secretary Clinton says failing to do so would abandon the Syrian people and embolden a dictator.

Join the conversation on our social journalism site - Middle East Voices. Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid