News / Middle East

US, Russia Discuss Peace Plan for Syria

  • A boy sells juice near a damaged bus in Aleppo's Bustan al-Qasr neighborhood, May 30, 2013.
  • Free Syrian Army fighters hold weapons at their post in Aleppo's Bustan al-Qasr neighborhood, May 29, 2013.
  • Buildings that were damaged during clashes between forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad and Free Syrian Army fighters, near the Sayeda Zainab area of Damascus, May 29, 2013.
  • Relatives visit a grave at the Shi'ite fighters cemetery in Damascus, May 28, 2013.
  • Shi'ite fighters ride through the Sayeda Zainab area of Damascus with their weapons, May 28, 2013.
  • The inside of a damaged mosque in Dahra Abd Rabbo village, Aleppo, May 27, 2013.
  • U.S. Senator John McCain meets with U.S. troops in southern Turkey, May 27, 2013.  He also visited rebels inside Syria.  This picture was released on his Twitter account.
  • Syrians participate in the funeral prayer for Youssef Ghazi al-Sarmani, who was killed in fighting between rebel and government forces, May 27. The logo in red reads "Talbiseh".
  • A boy makes pastry at a shop in Darkush town, Idlib province, May 26, 2013.
  • A group of men smuggle diesel fuel from Syria to Turkey hoping to sell it at a higher price, across the Al-Assi River in Idlib, May 26, 2013.
  • Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad during clashes against Syrian rebels in Aleppo, May 26, 2013.
  • Supporters and relatives of Hezbollah members attend the funeral of a Hezbollah fighter who died in the Syrian conflict. The funeral took place in the Ouzai district in Beirut, May 26, 2013.
  • A Free Syrian Army fighter feeds pigeons in Homs, May 26, 2013.

The latest images from Syria

VOA News
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart are meeting in Paris to try to accelerate peace efforts for Syria after the European Union's top diplomats failed to reach a compromise over whether to arm opposition fighters.

Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov started one-on-one talks in a Paris hotel Monday aimed at breathing life into a proposed peace conference on Syria. The two will later be joined by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius for a working dinner as they push to bring warring sides in Syria together.

The U.S. and Russia have been trying to arrange the talks for next month, envisioned them as a forum for the Syrian government and opposition to negotiate terms for an interim government to end the civil war.

Earlier, EU foreign ministers had gathered in Brussels to decide the future of the 27-nation bloc's arms embargo on Syria, which expires Friday.  Britain and France have been pushing for an amendment that would allow sending weapons to the Syrian opposition.

The issue is dividing the EU. Austria has been firm in ruling out arming the rebels.

But British Foreign Minister William Hague said the rebels need weapons.

"In our view, it is important to show that we are prepared to amend our arms embargo so that the Assad regime gets a clear signal that it has to negotiate seriously. Therefore, for us, amending the embargo is part of supporting the diplomatic work and trying to bring about a political solution," he said.

Related video footage

Trio of Meetings Focus on Ending Syria Crisisi
X
May 27, 2013 3:27 PM
Diplomats from the European Union, the United States, and the main Syrian opposition coalition are working separately Monday on three initiatives aimed at ending more than two years of fighting in Syria.

Meanwhile the 60-member Syrian National Coalition, Syria's main opposition group, met in Istanbul Monday and blocked a deal to fully admit a liberal faction headed by a Saudi-backed veteran dissident, Michel Kilo.

The SNC's Qatar-backed Muslim Brotherhood alliance successfully resisted an expansion that would have granted Saudi Arabia more influence. Kilo's bloc had been seeking up to 22 new seats in the coalition, but ended up with five.

Heavy fighting raged in Syria around the strategic rebel-held border town of Qusair and the capital, Damascus, amid renewed reports of chemical weapons attacks by Assad's forces.

In Geneva, U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay lamented the "horrific" level of rights violations in war-torn Syria, saying "a humanitarian, political and social disaster is already upon us, and what looms is truly a nightmare." She addressed diplomats as she opened one of the U.N. Human Rights Council's four annual sessions.

The Syrian conflict has killed more than 80,000 people since it began as peaceful protests against Assad in March 2011.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
May 27, 2013 12:24 PM
The diplomacy as played by the West represented by USA, France and Britain is fraught with ambiguiti. If the West wanted this war to stop, they would not impose such conditions and conditionalities semantic to the Palestinian demand before peace talks will restart. With such demand as excludes Assad in the negotiations, how does anyone want to achieve peace in the country? First you are allienating Assad from his country, and by default all his supporters have be given red card from their country – if we understand what the Arab Spring as played out in previous experiences means.

Again under muslim brotherhood..! it’s only suicidal to accept what the west is proposing. It is only a way of prolonging the war. No genuine negotiation can be started if the ruling government is excluded, and those from France and Britain know it. Goes to say no one as yet is seeking for genuine ceasefire, much less a ceasation of hostilities out there, with the security council evenly divided between accepting Assad and rejecting him. The so-called opposition should learn from this and stop the bloodshed in the country. No one is going to give peace to Syria but Syrian people. The opposition should stop fooling themselves and allow Assad to transit his government through another election.

In Response

by: Anonymous
May 27, 2013 3:34 PM
Assad is a criminal that is why, he has killed thousands and thousands of innocent civilians. You mention all of his supporters? Maybe less than ten percent? (same minority as himself only reason why they back him).

I don't think anyone should be making deals with Bashar, instead he should be facing several thousand death sentences for those innocent civilians he has killed.

Every Syrian civilian killed by Bashar counts, and adds up.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid