News / Middle East

Syria Opposition Leader Meets with Russian FM

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden (R) meet for bilateral talks during the 49th Conference on Security Policy in Munich, February 2, 2013.
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden (R) meet for bilateral talks during the 49th Conference on Security Policy in Munich, February 2, 2013.
VOA News
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has held his first direct talks with Syria's opposition leader on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference.

The meeting Saturday between Lavrov and Moaz al-Khatib did not include U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, despite initial suggestions that all four might meet in southern Germany. Biden instead held separate meetings with Lavrov, Brahimi, and al-Khatib.

US Vice President Joe Biden, right, and Sheikh Moaz al-Khatib, Syria's top opposition leader, shake hands at the Security Conference in Munich, Germany, February 2, 2013.US Vice President Joe Biden, right, and Sheikh Moaz al-Khatib, Syria's top opposition leader, shake hands at the Security Conference in Munich, Germany, February 2, 2013.
x
US Vice President Joe Biden, right, and Sheikh Moaz al-Khatib, Syria's top opposition leader, shake hands at the Security Conference in Munich, Germany, February 2, 2013.
US Vice President Joe Biden, right, and Sheikh Moaz al-Khatib, Syria's top opposition leader, shake hands at the Security Conference in Munich, Germany, February 2, 2013.
This year's Munich Security Conference is designed to revive efforts to find a means to end the civil war in Syria. Earlier this week, al-Khatib said he is willing to negotiate with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government.

The White House says the vice president emphasized during his meeting with Lavrov the importance of Russia and the U.S. working together in the interest of international peace and security.

Washington and Moscow have considerable disagreements on dealing with the Syrian crisis.

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden (R) meet for bilateral talks during the 49th Conference on Security Policy in Munich, February 2, 2013.Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden (R) meet for bilateral talks during the 49th Conference on Security Policy in Munich, February 2, 2013.
x
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden (R) meet for bilateral talks during the 49th Conference on Security Policy in Munich, February 2, 2013.
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden (R) meet for bilateral talks during the 49th Conference on Security Policy in Munich, February 2, 2013.
Biden pledged continuing U.S. support for Syria's opposition at the conference, adding that President Bashar al-Assad is "no longer fit" to lead his country and "must go."

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at the conference that such a condition is not acceptable.

He said the agreed-upon Geneva process for Syria must be followed, including talks among all parties. He also rejected a suggestion from an audience member for the creation of a humanitarian corridor in Syria, enforced by international air power.

"On the humanitarian corridors with close air support, no," he said. "Any use of force, any threat of the use of force will be unacceptable because the situation on the ground requires not more military assets but immediate cease-fire and immediate end of violence."

Lavrov indicated Russia is concerned that any United Nations authorization for military operations in Syria, even for humanitarian purposes, will result in wider involvement, which is what Russia believes happened with the U.N. Security Council resolution on Libya. The Damascus ally has vetoed three U.N. resolutions to mount pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

​Civil war between Syrian rebels and the government of President Assad has gripped Syria since evolving from peaceful anti-government protests in March of 2011.

The United Nations says at least 60,000 people have been killed since the conflict began.

You May Like

Sambisa Forest Stands Between Nigeria, Victory Over Boko Haram

Military takes back nearly all towns, villages in northeast, except for massive expanse of forest that spreads thousands of square kilometers over several states More

Islamic State Recruiting Stokes Fears for Parents in Georgia

Chechens are a notable part of Islamic State's gains in Syria and Iraq, and analysts fear what might happen if those fighters return to the Caucasus More

Yarmouk Camp Becomes Distant Memory for Palestinian Diaspora

Once thriving capital of Palestinian diaspora, after siege by Syrian government forces and Islamic State group, camp becomes 'deepest circle of hell' More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
February 02, 2013 7:07 PM
I hope the talks continue and are progressive to end the civil war. Both sides of this conflict need to stop granstanding and bring this bloody conflict to an end. It is clear that well over 60,000 people are dead, mostly Sunni Muslim civilians. Both sides of this conflict need to think about the suffering of the civilians still trapped, and do what it takes to get a temporary ceasefire, followed by negotiations, including the immediate delivery of humanitarian aid to Sunni civilians trapped by the conflict. An impartial transitional gvmt is required, followed by a full permanent ceasefire, withdrawl of forces, including all foreign forces, and then elections under a UN mandated transitional force. If this conflicft does not stop, more civilians will die, and all of Syria will be rubble, causing unecessary suffering and the fragmentation of Syria..

by: Habi from: Canada
February 02, 2013 5:11 PM
"from peaceful anti-government protests"? really peaceful? Why government use violence to "peaceful people"? As far as I know, no protest is really peaceful, there are always some people in opposition group to let off steam and to express their discontent using violence, even killing. Opposition party members and anti-government protesters may lie in order to get their support from the west. It is politics!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'i
X
Sharon Behn
April 21, 2015 9:18 PM
A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten. Sharon Behn reports on the politics of the word genocide on the 100th anniversary of the events.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video German Program Helps Migrants Overcome Traumatic Experience at Sea

Migrants fleeing poverty and violence in parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia risk life and limb to reach safety in Europe. Those who have made it to European shores are traumatized by the experience. A program in Germany helps survivors overcome the trauma by giving a new perspective to their catastrophic experience. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video New Test Set to Be Game Changer in Eradicating Malaria

The World Health Organization estimates 3.4 billion people are at risk of malaria, with children under the age of five and pregnant women being the most vulnerable. As World Malaria Day approaches (April 25), mortality rates are falling, and a new test -- well into the last stage of trials -- is having positive results in Kenya. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA from Nairobi.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.

VOA Blogs