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

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Researcher: Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor at Symposium on Obesity, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome says problem involves more than calorie intake, warns of worldwide health impact 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.
Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thoughti
X
George Putic
May 26, 2015 9:26 PM
Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

VOA Blogs