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

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

Audio 'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book 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.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
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 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.

VOA Blogs