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

Video VOA ‘Town Hall’ Shines Light on Ebola Crisis

Experts call for greater speed in identification and treatment of deadly disease More

UN Rights Commission Investigates Eritrea

Three-member commission will start collecting first-hand information from victims and other witnesses in Switzerland and Italy next week More

Funding Program Helps Extremely Poor in Ghana

Broad objective for Ghana's social cash transfer program is to lessen the impact of poverty on the most vulnerable people, elderly, orphans, those with disabilities 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.
Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concernsi
X
November 19, 2014 11:39 PM
The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.
Video

Video What Jon Stewart Learned About Iran From 'Rosewater'

Jon Stewart, host of the satirical news program "The Daily Show" talks with Saman Arbabi of Voice of America's Persian service about Stewart's directorial debut, "Rosewater."
Video

Video Lebanese Winemakers Thrive Despite War Next Door

In some of the most volatile parts of Lebanon, where a constant flow of refugees crosses the border from Syria, one industry continues to flourish against the odds. Lebanese winemakers say after surviving a brutal civil war in the 1970s and 80s, they can survive anything. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.
Video

Video China's Rise Closely Watched

China’s role as APEC host this week allowed a rare opportunity for Beijing to showcase its vision for the global economy and the region. But as China’s stature grows, so have tensions with other countries, including the United States. VOA’s Bill Ide in Beijing reports on how China’s rise as a global power is seen among Chinese and Americans.

All About America

AppleAndroid