News / Middle East

Russia Pushes Diplomacy for Syria Peace Talks

Syria's Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad (L) leaves the headquarters of the Russian Foreign Ministry in Moscow, Nov. 18, 2013.
Syria's Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad (L) leaves the headquarters of the Russian Foreign Ministry in Moscow, Nov. 18, 2013.
VOA News
Russia hosted closed-door talks Monday with Syrian diplomats in a renewed push for a Syrian peace conference in which Moscow says Tehran also must play a role.

President Bashar al-Assad's envoys began negotiations in Moscow just as U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon disclosed in Vilnius that he hoped to convene the so-called Geneva II conference in mid-December.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said his government "regards Iran as a very important partner in all Middle Eastern affairs,'' in comments at the start of separate talks with Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.

The Syrian opposition said Russia also invited Syrian National Coalition president Ahmed Jarba for a three-day visit to coincide with the regime officials' stay.

Moscow has been emboldened by its success in helping to mediate a deal under which Syria will destroy its chemical weapons, but Washington is wary of allowing Iran to join Syrian peace talks.

Reuters reported that Syria's ambassador to Russia said Monday that insufficient funding and unspecified actions by militants fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad are hindering the government's compliance with a deal to abandon chemical weapons

In Syria, a prominent rebel commander died after being wounded last week in the heavily contested northern city of Aleppo. Abdul-Qadir Saleh was the head of the Islamist al-Tawhid Brigade, which announced his death in a statement Monday.

He had been taken to a hospital in Turkey following an attack on the brigade' leadership by Syrian forces last Thursday that also killed another commander. The group is estimated to have at least 8,000 fighters.

Assad's troops have made recent gains in Aleppo, the country's largest city.

You May Like

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As tumult in Middle East distracts Obama administration, efforts to shift American focus eastward appear threatened More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: musawi melake
November 19, 2013 7:00 AM
Just as the Russians are planing to bring about a counter-balanced world that existed after the end of Nazi-terror, The Free-Masonic players are terified and are unleasing terror-attacks in Lebenan in an effort to derail everything.

A new Soviet-union like setup is absolutely the need of the day to get things strait! The Russins and the Chinese should work togather to drive away the West from Asia and Africa. Then the should establish a territory in South-America to put the US to live in constant fear of missiles raining down on them!

In Response

by: van from: vn
November 20, 2013 9:16 AM
Poor Syrian rebels! Russia, Iran, Hebulla strongly support Assad while rebels receive very little support to fight against Assad. it is clear that Nato and the US has lost heavily in the field.

In Response

by: van from: vn
November 19, 2013 6:45 PM
so you want russian to rule the word or to be the leader of the world.


by: van from: vn
November 19, 2013 12:52 AM
Don’t talk too much about Syria. It will Waste time and money. Just do as Russia did to Georgia : separate Syria into 2 parts : one for Assad and one for Rebels .Only Nato and the US can do this.
Good luck
Expert in Buddhism


by: Anonymous
November 18, 2013 3:03 PM
Why peace talks? Why isn't Bashar al Assad arrested for crimes and facing a jury? Why doesn't Putin actually care about the Syrian people? Could it be that Putin has intentions for Syria that the people of Syria do not want? I believe so... I think most Syrians are upset that Putin butted in front of the world to defend Bashar al Assad who has commited crimes across Syria. Also noted is the fact that 90% of Syrians that died from weaponry died from Russian weapons/bullets/bomblets. Putin would love to keep arms sales to Syria, as well as keep his Navy in Syria. I can't see any Syrian people liking that idea one bit after what Putin has pulled.

It is the people of Syria that make Syria what it is. It is not Bashar al Assad, nor Russia, nor Iran.

Bashar al Assad can easily be replaced by someone who doesn't commit crimes against the people of Syria.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Towni
X
Deborah Block
September 21, 2014 2:12 PM
A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid