News / Middle East

UN Chief Discusses Syria with Russian Officials

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (L) and Russia's President Vladimir Putin smile as they meet at Bocharov Ruchei state residence in Black Sea resort of Sochi, May 17, 2013.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (L) and Russia's President Vladimir Putin smile as they meet at Bocharov Ruchei state residence in Black Sea resort of Sochi, May 17, 2013.
VOA News
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is in Russia, where he said it is important to not "lose momentum" in setting up a peace conference on Syria next month.

Ban told reporters Friday that momentum gained by talks between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov should be built upon, not wasted. He said a U.N. team is ready at any time to investigate claims that the Syrian government used chemical weapons against rebels.

Lavrov has said the sooner an international peace conference on Syria is held, the better. He also called on Syria to let chemical weapons inspectors into the country.

France's Foreign Ministry said Friday it opposes Iranian participation in the Syrian peace talks.  A spokesman says France cannot see how a country that threatens regional stability like Iran can take part.

Lavrov has said Iran, a close Syrian ally, must be included in the talks.  He accuses the United States and the West of trying to narrow the circle of participants.

  • This citizen journalism image provided by ENN shows black smoke rising from what rebels say is a helicopter that was shot down at Abu Dhour military airbase, Idlib, Syria, May 17, 2013.
  • A Free Syrian Army member prays next to the grave of a fellow fighter in a cemetery in Deir el-Zor, May 16, 2013.
  • Free Syrian Army members sit in a room inside a house in Deir el-Zor, May 16, 2013.
  • Crews demolish one of the damaged buildings at the site of the May 11 blast, in Reyhanli, Hatay province, May 15, 2013.
  • Members of the Free Syrian Army help a wounded fellow fighter in Deir al-Zor, May 14, 2013.
  • This image provided by Aleppo Media Center AMC shows the mother of a Syrian rebel cleaning a rifle, in Aleppo, May 14, 2013.
  • Syrians wait to cross back into Syria at the Turkish Cilvegozu border crossing in Reyhanli, Hatay province, May 14, 2013.
  • A view of the damaged Khalid ibn al Walid Mosque in Homs, Syria, May 14, 2013.
  • Syrian army soldiers inspect a house as they advance in on the village of Western Dumayna, near the rebel held city of Qusayr, May 13, 2013.
  • This citizen journalism image provided by Aleppo Media Center shows the famed 12th century Umayyad mosque in Aleppo, which was damaged by shelling, May 13, 2013.

The United States has not yet said who can attend, saying it does not want to make any pre-determinations.

The New York Times reported Friday that Russia has sent more advanced anti-ship cruise missiles to Syria. At the same time, Russia says it has no interest in seeing Syrian President Bashar al- Assad remain in power.

You May Like

Photogallery Oxfam: Ebola Could Be 'Disaster of Our Generation'

Meanwhile, Fidel Castro, the former leader of Cuba, says the Caribbean island nation will 'gladly cooperate' with the US in the fight against Ebola in West Africa More

Multimedia Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

Refugees receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed More

India’s Ruling Nationalist Party Makes Gains in Regional Elections

Bharatiya Janata Party’s huge margin over its rivals puts it on course to form governments in the northern Haryana and western Maharashtra states More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
May 18, 2013 7:46 PM
Seeing on the news Russia has just armed Assad with missiles, it is time we arm the Syrian people to the max, so they can get the war over with and serve Bashar al Assad his long awaited justice for the murder of thousands and thousands. It is time the people of Syria get fully armed, and the world boycotts russia for their governments pathetic decisions. Russia needs a slap across the face from the world and for years to come to be isolated.


by: Shiekh Azam from: Jordan
May 17, 2013 6:36 PM
Putin will not abandon Assad the way Obama stabbed Mubarak in the back... Obama appeasement policy toward Muslim Brotherhood - in fact encouragement... is not good for US...

In Response

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
May 18, 2013 10:41 AM
Actually the US has been found wanton in issues like this. It has become worse in the present regime. No thought is wasted to find out how former dependable allies will feel when abandoned. It will go into the records as one of the areas the Obama/Clinton administration excelled - abandonment of former allies at the crux of their needs. That will also warn future and current allies of whether this administration is dependable or not. Surely Mubarak, Gaddafi and Assad must regret cooperation with USA. Not good for the image of a country even if it was a superpower.


by: Hatem Zaki from: Egypt
May 17, 2013 5:30 PM
The Syrian scene is not clear enough for us .sometimes we sympathize with the rebels sometimes not .there are videos on youtube show how the rebels are monsters .after the down of Arab spring the calculations have changed . in Egypt they afraid of the rebels because they are Islamists


by: Godwin from: Nigeria
May 17, 2013 2:12 PM
Russia is being sensitive and proactive in ensuring that Assad is not disgraced out of office. Assad may not be wanted by the Syrian people any more, but that is not to say he must go the way of Moammar Gaddafi of Libya. Give him a chance to transit the present government and a chance to live, and he will hand over power. At the moment no government has offered him asylum, his instinct to live is alive.

Russia is playing to ensure that the minorities whom the extremist elements in the opposition government are fighting to eliminate remain relevant both to the region and Syria. I do not understand what is the sin of Assad for which his head is called for by the West. There is no need for either Iran or Saudi Arabia to be involved in the conflict resolution except to prolong the war in favor of arms dealers and a reduction of the Syrian population


by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
May 17, 2013 10:26 AM
The Russian gvmt's move to sent more weapons, especially advanced weapons to Syria is totally counterproductive to compromise and peace. In addition, concerns already exist about chem/bio weapons falling into extremists hands; now the shear folly of the Russian gvmt, will also place more concerns of these advanced weapons falling into the wrong hands, or even being transferred to terrorist groups by Assad and his chronies.

Instead of de-escalating the ability to carry out war, the Russian gvmt's move makes it imperative that these weapons be destroyed as soon as there is any posibility that they may fall into the wrong hands, or if there is any indication that they are being transferred. Great stupidity, because now there is more weapons that need to be watched, and more to be destroyed upon a judgement call.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fighti
X
Zana Omer
October 18, 2014 6:37 PM
The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.
Video

Video Church for Atheists Goes Global

Atheists, by definition, do not believe in God. So they should have no need of a church. But two years ago, a pair of British stand-up comedians decided to create one. Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans told the BBC they envisioned “something like church but without God". Their “Sunday Assembly” movement has grown from a single congregation in London to dozens of churches around the world. Reporter Mike Osborne visited with the members of a Sunday Assembly that now meets regularly in Nashville.
Video

Video Robot Locates Unexploded Underwater Mines

Many educators believe that hands-on experience is the best way to learn. Proving that the method works is a project developed by a group of students at the Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken, New Jersey. They rose up to a challenge posted by the U.S. Department of Defense and successfully designed and built an underwater robot for locating submerged unexploded ordnance. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's JFK Hospital Reopens After Temporary Ebola Exposure

JFK Hospital is Liberia’s largest and one of its oldest medical facilities. The hospital had to close temporarily following the deaths of two leading doctors from Ebola. It is now getting back on its feet, with the maternity ward being the first section to reopen. Benno Muchler has more for VOA News from Monrovia.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Expose Generation Gap

Most of the tens of thousands of protesters in Hong Kong are students seeking democracy. Idealistic youths say while the older generation worries about the present, they are fighting for the territory's future. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Hong Kong.
Video

Video Liberians Living in US Struggle From Afar as Ebola Ravages Homeland

More than 8,000 Liberians live in New York City, more than in any other city outside of Liberia itself. As VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports, with the Ebola virus ravaging their homeland, there is no peace of mind for these New Yorkers.
Video

Video Kurds See War-Ravaged Kobani As Political, Emotional Heartland

Intense fighting is continuing between Islamic State militants -- also known as ISIS or ISIL -- and Kurdish forces around the Syrian town of Kobani, on the Turkish border. The U.S. said it carried out at least nine airstrikes against Islamic State positions Friday. Meanwhile the U.N. has warned that hundreds of civilians would be massacred if the town falls to the militants. Henry Ridgwell looks at the strategic significance of the city.

All About America

AppleAndroid