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

Brutality Eroding IS Financial Support

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says IS's penchant for publicizing beheadings, other brutal forms of punishment hurts group’s bottom line More

Studies: Climate Change a Factor in Disasters in Syria, California

The studies point to the possibility of clear and present dangers from a threat often considered to be far in the future More

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees 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.
Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukrainei
X
March 03, 2015 3:11 AM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video US, Cuba Report Progress in Latest Talks to Restore Ties

The United States and Cuba say they have made progress in the second round of talks on restoring diplomatic relations more than 50 years after breaking off ties. Delegations from both sides met in Washington on Friday to work on opening embassies in Havana and Washington and iron out key obstacles to historic change. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas reports from the State Department.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video NYC's Restaurant Week: An Economic Boom in Fine Dining

New Yorkers take pride in setting world trends — in fashion, the arts and fine dining. The city’s famous biannual Restaurant Week plays a significant role in a booming tourism industry that sustains 359,000 jobs and generates $61 billion in yearly revenue. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
Video

Video Brookhaven at Cutting Edge of US Energy Research

Issues like the Keystone XL pipeline, fracking and instability in the Middle East are driving debate in the U.S. about making America energy independent. Recently, the American Energy Innovation Council urged Congress and the White House to make expanded energy research a priority. One beneficiary of increased energy spending would be the Brookhaven National Lab, where clean, renewable, efficient energy is the goal. VOA's Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
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 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.

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