News / Middle East

UN Team to Brief Ban Ki-Moon on Syria

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is seen speaking at U.N. Headquarters in New York in this July 18, 2013, file photo.United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is seen speaking at U.N. Headquarters in New York in this July 18, 2013, file photo.
x
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is seen speaking at U.N. Headquarters in New York in this July 18, 2013, file photo.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is seen speaking at U.N. Headquarters in New York in this July 18, 2013, file photo.
Margaret Besheer
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will receive a briefing from his chemical weapons team on its mission to Syria. The inspectors are due to leave the country Saturday. 

The U.N. chief cut short an official trip to Austria to return to headquarters, as the possibility of a military reprisal against President Bashar al-Assad’s government continued to loom after a suspected poison gas attack near Damascus last week killed hundreds of people.

U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters that the team of U.N. scientific experts investigating the August 21 attack near Damascus will leave Syria by Saturday morning.  He said some of them will remain in Europe to oversee the delivery and analysis of samples to laboratories in order to ensure the chain of custody.

Haq said U.N. disarmament chief Angela Kane and some of the inspectors will be in New York in the coming days to brief the secretary-general.

“They will have a large number of facts at their disposal, they’ve collected a considerable amount of evidence - evidence through samples, evidence through witness interviews - they can construct from that a fact-based narrative that can get at the key facts of what happened on the 21st of August,” said Haq.

He added the team will present a final report once laboratory results had been received.

“It is imperative that the work that the investigation team does be seen by all as fair, impartial and accurate. And so they will do their very best for accuracy while trying to get all the results in as soon as they possibly can do,” stressed Haq.

World powers met again Thursday at the U.N. Security Council. Russia called the meeting of the other permanent Council members - Britain, China, France and the United States.  Talks lasted about 45 minutes.  Diplomats refused to brief reporters on what transpired, but it appeared there were no breakthroughs.

On Wednesday, the group had met to discuss a resolution, proposed by Britain, that would authorize “all necessary measures” to protect Syrian civilians.

Meanwhile, what appeared to be an imminent U.S. and British-led military response came to a sudden halt. Lawmakers in both countries have demanded detailed briefings and evidence to support their governments’ belief that President Assad conducted the August 21 poison gas attack.

In Washington, President Barack Obama’s top national security advisers briefed members of Congress. In London, Prime Minister David Cameron said he would act accordingly, when British lawmakers voted late Thursday against that government's military involvement in Syria.

A State Department spokesperson said the president will continue contemplating what to do in close consultation with U.S. allies.

You May Like

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ron from: Amsterdam
August 31, 2013 2:18 AM
Mister Ban Ki-Moon: it will take 2 weeks to investigate of what has happened in Syria? Unacceptable and bankrupt UN.


by: alan from: united states
August 29, 2013 9:07 PM
let it be

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid