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

    Russian-speaking Muslim Exiles Fear Possible Russia-Turkey Thaw

    Exiled from Russia as Islamic radicals and extremists, thousands found asylum in Turkey

    US Presidential Election Ends at Conventions for Territorial Citizens

    Citizens of US territories like Guam or Puerto Rico enjoy participation in US political process but are denied right to vote for president

    UN Syria Envoy: 'Devil Is in the Details' of Russian Aleppo Proposal

    UN uncertain about the possible humanitarian impact of Russian proposal to establish escape corridors in Aleppo

    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.
    Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Busi
    X
    July 28, 2016 4:16 AM
    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora