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

Australia Knights Prince Philip, Sparking National Outrage

Abbott's surprise reintroduction of knights and dames in the country's honors system last year drew criticism that he was out of touch with national sentiment More

SAG Award Boosts 'Birdman' Oscar Hopes

Individual acting Oscars appear to be sewn up: SAG awards went to artists who won Golden Globes: Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, Patricia Arquette, J.K. Simmons More

Katy Perry Lights Way for Super Bowl's Girl Power Moment

Pop star's selection to headline US football championship's halftime show extends NFL's trend of selecting artists who appeal to younger viewers 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.
Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sidesi
X
June Soh
January 23, 2015 10:03 PM
The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid