World News

    Syrian Opposition Chief Willing to Talk to VP Sharaa

    Syrian Vice President Farouk al-Sharaa, right (file photo)Syrian Vice President Farouk al-Sharaa, right (file photo)
    x
    Syrian Vice President Farouk al-Sharaa, right (file photo)
    Syrian Vice President Farouk al-Sharaa, right (file photo)
    VOA News
    Exiled Syrian opposition leader Mouaz al-Khatib has expanded on an offer to hold peace talks with the Syrian government, saying he is willing to sit down with the deputy of President Bashar al-Assad.

    In interviews with Arab television networks on Monday, al-Khatib said he is extending a hand to Syrian Vice President Farouk al-Sharaa to negotiate what he called a "peaceful departure of the (Assad) regime."

    The Syrian National Coalition leader first made the offer last week, saying it was conditional on the government freeing tens of thousands of prisoners and providing passports to Syrians exiled by a nearly two-year-long rebellion against Assad's authoritarian rule. The proposal angered some members of the opposition coalition, which previously had demanded that Assad leave power before negotiations could begin.

    In his latest interviews, al-Khatib said he wants a dialogue with the Assad government because he has concluded that only Syrians can find a solution to the country's civil war. The international community has been divided on how to respond to the conflict, with Western powers and their Arab allies demanding Assad quit, while allies of the Syrian president such as Iran and Russia insist that no foreign power should dictate Syria's future.

    Al-Khatib said his offer of talks puts the ball in the government's court. There was no immediate response from Assad, who has proposed his own national reconciliation process that offers elections and a new constitution but keeps himself in power.

    U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said that if the Assad government has any interest in peace, it should "sit down and talk now" with the opposition coalition.

    In the latest fighting on Monday, rights activists said government forces bombarded rebel-held areas around Damascus including Douma with air strikes and artillery.

    U.N. humanitarian agency UNICEF said it has started an operation to deliver water-treatment chemicals to Syria to provide safe water supplies to 10 million people, almost half the country's population. It said the first four trucks carrying 80 tons of chlorine crossed from Jordan into Syria on Sunday, bound for the regions of Homs, Aleppo, Hama and Idlib.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora