News / Middle East

UN Envoy to Meet With Assad Saturday

Lakhdar Brahimi, the U.N.-Arab League envoy to Syria, left, meets with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem, right, in Damascus, Syria, September 13, 2012.Lakhdar Brahimi, the U.N.-Arab League envoy to Syria, left, meets with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem, right, in Damascus, Syria, September 13, 2012.
x
Lakhdar Brahimi, the U.N.-Arab League envoy to Syria, left, meets with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem, right, in Damascus, Syria, September 13, 2012.
Lakhdar Brahimi, the U.N.-Arab League envoy to Syria, left, meets with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem, right, in Damascus, Syria, September 13, 2012.
VOA News
The new U.N.-Arab League envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, is set to talk with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad Saturday in Damascus as he continues his first official visit to the war-torn country.  

A U.N. spokesman said Brahimi met Friday with Syrian officials, U.N. staff, Red Cross officers, and envoys from Russia and China.  Along with a meeting with Assad, Brahimi is set to meet with a Syrian opposition group and a European Union delegation, the U.N. spokesman said.

Brahimi said Thursday the situation is getting worse and described efforts to ease the crisis as "nearly impossible."

Turkey warns Assad

Earlier, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized China and Russia during an international conference in the Ukrainian city of Yalta.  Erdogan said both countries must continue to push Syria toward meaningful negotiations.  

Erdogan also warned Assad's regime is coming to "its inevitable end."
 
UNSC impasse

The U.N. Security Council is deadlocked over Syria.  China and Russia have vetoed efforts to impose tough new sanctions against the Assad government.

The United States does not want any military involvement in Syria, and there has been almost no progress in uniting the fragmented opposition to form a viable alternative to Assad.

Meanwhile, the United States Friday accused Syria of using the "brutal repression" of its people as an excuse for not cooperating with U.N.'s nuclear watchdog.

The U.S. envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Robert Wood, made the accusations during a meeting in Vienna.  The IAEA has long been seeking access to Syria's Deir el-Zour site, saying Syria is legally bound to comply.  Syria insists the site is a conventional military facility.  

On Thursday, Hollywood film star Angelina Jolie met with Turkish officials in Ankara, a day after meeting with Syrian refugees in eastern Turkey.  Jolie is a special envoy for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees and has been traveling with a UNHCR delegation.

The 18 months of fighting between government forces and rebels has left about 20,000 people dead, mostly civilians.  U.N. officials say the war has driven more than one million people from their homes.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.
  • A Syrian child reacts while being treated by a doctor, in a hospital in Aleppo, Syria, September 11, 2012.
  • A Syrian woman looks back while walking with another woman past a pile of garbage left on a roadside in Aleppo, Syria, September 11, 2012.
  • Syrians walk by a building which was damaged by government airstrike in Aleppo, Syria, September 11, 2012.
  • A Syrian rebel fighter, right, eats while others chat as they wait for transportation to go fight government forces in Aleppo, September 10, 2012.
  • A Syrian child, whose displaced with her family due to fighting between the rebels and government forces, drinks water from a tanker in a school on the outskirts of Aleppo, Syria, September 10, 2012.
  • Syrian rebel fighters raise their weapons as they head to fight government forces in Aleppo, in Suran, on the outskirts of Aleppo, Syria, September 10, 2012.
  • A Syrian rebel fighter holds his rifle as he and other fighters head to Aleppo to fight government forces, at their headquarters in Suran, on the outskirts of Aleppo, Syria, September 10, 2012.

You May Like

Reports of Mass Murder on Mediterranean Smuggler’s Boat

Boat sailed from Libya with 750 migrants aboard and arrived in Italy with 569 More

Video New Thailand Hotline Targets Misbehaving Monks

Officials say move aims to restore country’s image of Buddhism, tarnished by recent high profile scandals such as opulent lifestyle, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as child sex abuse More

Study: Dust from Sahara Helped Form Bahama Islands

What does the Sahara have in common with a Caribbean island? Quite a lot, researchers say More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
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.

AppleAndroid