News / Middle East

UN Envoys Mum After Talks on Syria

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, left, at the headquarters of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapon, The Hague, Netherlands, April 8, 2013.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, left, at the headquarters of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapon, The Hague, Netherlands, April 8, 2013.
VOA News
United Nations diplomats from the United States, Russia, France, China and Britain launched talks on Wednesday on a draft resolution from Britain calling for the world body to "do what is necessary" to protect civilians and prevent further attacks. 
 
There was no comment on the proposal after diplomats left the meeting.
 
Britain is pushing for a U.N. Security Council vote on the measure, a prelude to possible military action against Syria. 

Military forces around SyriaMilitary forces around Syria
x
Military forces around Syria
Military forces around Syria
"We believe that it is time the United Nations Security Council shouldered its responsibilities on Syria, which for the last two and half years it has failed to do," said  Foreign Secretary William Hague, who accused the world body of foot-dragging.
 
VOA's United Nations correspondent said the P-5 envoys had no comments after Wednesday's session and the diplomats for Russia and China left before the other envoys. Both nations have previously resisted U.N. efforts to penalize the Syrian regime for alleged abuses during its civil war.
 
The proposed resolution is part of an international diplomatic effort by the U.S. and Western powers before possible military action against President Bashar al-Assad.
 
UN probe

A U.N. team conducting an on-site investigation of the alleged gas attack in suburban Damascus wrapped up its work for Wednesday, but U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the team will need four days to complete its probe. 
 
Ban is in The Hague, where he discussed efforts to convene a political conference on Syria with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennadiy Gatilov. He also urged the U.N. Security Council to "find unity" on the situation in Syria.
 
Syria denies accusations

The Syrian government has denied having any role in last week's alleged gas attack, which left hundreds dead. 
 
Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Maqdad blamed Western-backed 'terrorists' for the incidents.
 
"Armed terrorist groups used Sarin gas in all these sites, and we repeat that the terrorist groups are the ones who used them with American, British and French encouragement. This encouragement should stop,'' he said.
 
Syria's U.N. envoy, Bashar Ja'afari, called for the U.N. team to investigate what he said are three new allegations of poison gas use against troops. He also said if attacked, Syria had a "right to self defense." 
 
In Brussels, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said information from a variety of sources indicated the Syrian regime was responsible for chemical weapons attacks. He said any use of chemical weapons could "not go unanswered."
 

Story contnues below photogallery
  • In this citizen journalism image provided by Edlib News Network, ENN, Syrians search under rubble to rescue people from houses that were destroyed by a Syrian government warplane in Idlib province, August 30, 2013.
  • In this citizen journalism image provided by Edlib News Network, ENN, smoke rises after explosives were dropped by a Syrian government warplane in Idlib province, August 30, 2013.
  • In this image taken from video obtained from the Shaam News Network, U.N. investigators gather potential evidence in a Damascus suburb, August 28, 2013.
  • This citizen journalism image provided by the United media office of Arbeen shows Syrians moving a man who was allegedly exposed to chemical weapons to show him to U.N. investigators in a Damascus suburb, August 28, 2013.
  • This citizen journalism image provided by the United media office of Arbeen shows U.N. investigators in a suburb of Damascus, August 28, 2013.
  • Free Syrian Army fighters carry their weapons as they escort U.N. vehicles carrying chemical weapons experts at the site of an alleged chemical weapons attack in a Damascus suburb, August 28, 2013.
  • Free Syrian Army fighters deploy in Aleppo's town of Khanasir after seizing it, August 26, 2013.
  • Free Syrian Army fighters inspect munitions and a tank that belonged to forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad after they seized Khanasir, August 26, 2013.
  • A U.N. chemical weapons expert gathers evidence at site of an alleged poison gas attack in a southwestern Damascus suburb, August 26, 2013.
  • An image grab taken from a video posted by Syrian activists purportedly shows a U.N. inspector speaking to a man in a Damascus suburb, August 26, 2013.
  • U.N. chemical weapons experts visit a hospital where wounded people affected by a suspected gas attack are being treated, in a southwestern Damascus suburb, August 26, 2013.

 
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: robert cullen from: louisville kentucky
August 28, 2013 11:51 AM
I don't see why Assad would have any reason to stage a gas attack when he knows it could invite US intervention. On the other hand I can why the opposition interests would have every reason to stage one.


by: LE VAN from: VIETNAM
August 28, 2013 11:49 AM
sure. we should do something with Syria soon and right now, don't be late any more. over 100,000 died already. Where is US and Nato? America, England, France, Italy and Germany must lead the world.

In Response

by: Henry Northwood from: Cananda
August 28, 2013 12:21 PM
you are right.

US absolutely did it right with Orang in Vietnam too.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid