News / USA

Syria Opposition Leaders Meet UN Security Council

The leader of Syria's Western-backed opposition group Ahmad Al-Jarba (C) speaks to reporters after an informal Security Council meeting on the situation in Syria, July 26, 2013 at United Nations headquarters.
The leader of Syria's Western-backed opposition group Ahmad Al-Jarba (C) speaks to reporters after an informal Security Council meeting on the situation in Syria, July 26, 2013 at United Nations headquarters.
Margaret Besheer
Leaders of Syria's main opposition coalition have told the United Nations Security Council they are dedicated to democracy and oppose extremism.

British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant, who convened Friday's meeting, said a key focus of the talks was finding ways to end Syria's brutal civil war and to help its victims.

“We heard a very positive message from President [Ahmad] al-Jarba, who made a very strong statement of commitment to the unity of Syria, to democracy and to plurality," he said. "He condemned extremism and he rejected terrorism.”

Ahmad al-Jarba, the newly elected National Coalition of Syria president, led the Syrian opposition delegation to the meeting.

For months, the international community, and most recently the United States and Russia, have been working to get representatives from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government, and the opposition, to meet in Geneva. The goal is to find a political solution to the two-year-old conflict that has killed more than 100,000 people.

It would be a follow-up to a meeting a year ago, when participants agreed to what has become known as the Geneva Communiqué, which aims to start a dialogue between the two sides.

The communiqué calls for the formation of a transitional government. Western powers and the opposition say the language clearly excludes President Assad and his inner circle from being part of a transitional government. The Assad government and its main ally, Russia, disagree. The issue has been one of the main obstacles to holding what has become known as Geneva II.

Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said he encourages the opposition to go to the talks without conditions, which he calls counterproductive.

"I regret that there is still an effort - an effort which I saw from leaders of National Coalition and also unfortunately some members of the Security Council - to complicate matters by starting interpreting various provisions of Geneva Communique in advance of the beginning of the negotiations. I mean this is an extremely complex political crisis,” he said.

Coalition President al-Jarba told reporters there needs to be more international pressure to force the Assad government to accept a political transition. Al-Jarba said he urges the council to get the Syrian government to accept the Geneva Communiqué and if it refuses, he said the council should impose targeted sanctions.

Al-Jarba was clear that the opposition is ready for a negotiated settlement, but only if it is based on the Geneva Communiqué - which still leaves the two sides far apart.

You May Like

Republican Majority in Congress Off to Rough Start

Standoff over Homeland Security funding exposes philosophical, tactical problems within party More

Pakistan Blocks Baloch Activist from US Trip

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams Islamabad officials for stopping people from leaving country to attend human rights conference More

Video Muslims Long Thrived in North Carolina Before Students Killed

Idyll shattered February 10, when three Muslim university students living in Chapel Hill were gunned down by a neighbor More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
July 27, 2013 4:49 PM
If the Syrian people had a vote (not managed by assad) to hang or not to hang assad for his crimes would be the best thing for Syrians. This way the Syrians decide. They are the ones he has been terrorizing, and this way the people would have a decision of their own. This way there is no lies and the truth would be known to the world. I already feel I know the decision that would be made.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Studentsi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
March 05, 2015 9:04 PM
The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Students

The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More