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

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year 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 Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

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