News / Middle East

UN Security Council to Consider Syria Resolution

Delegates vote on a resolution in the United Nations Security Council, Aug. 29, 2013.
Delegates vote on a resolution in the United Nations Security Council, Aug. 29, 2013.
VOA News
The United States and Russia have struck a deal on a U.N. Security Council draft resolution demanding Syria give up its chemical weapons.

The 15-member body held an urgent, closed-door meeting late Thursday to consider the draft. Diplomats say a vote could happen as soon as late Friday.

Moscow, Syria's main ally, and Washington have disagreed for weeks over how to ensure Syrian President Bashar al-Assad complies with the disarmament plan.

U.S. officials praised the text as legally binding and enforceable, though it does not include an automatic trigger for enforcement if Syria does not comply, as the White House had wanted.

Instead, the draft says the Council could hold a second vote to impose measures under Chapter Seven of the U.N. Charter, which allows for possible economic sanctions or military action.

The text says non-compliance includes "unauthorized transfer of chemical weapons or any use of chemical weapons by anyone in the Syrian Arab Republic," including both Assad's government and rebel forces.

President Assad agreed earlier this month to give up his chemical weapons following threats of U.S. military strikes in response to a poison gas attack on a rebel-held suburb last month that killed hundreds.

Assad denies carrying out the attack. He and his Russian allies instead say rebels trying to overthrow his government carried out the chemical attack. The U.S. says the attack killed 1,400 people.

The draft agreed to on Thursday would ban Syria from possessing chemical weapons. It also condemned "in the strongest possible" terms the August 21 attack and says the use of such weapons anywhere is a threat to international peace and security.

Though the draft's language is not as strong as the U.S. and its Western allies on the Security Council had wanted, its passage would break a two-and-a-half-year deadlock at the world body.

Russia and China, both permanent members of the Council, have already vetoed three bills that would punish Assad's government.

The conflict, which began as a mostly peaceful uprising against Assad's government, has killed over 100,000 people.

You May Like

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid