News / Middle East

    UN Chief Warns of Syrian War Spreading Regionally

    Lisa Schlein
    United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is warning of spillover effects in countries neighboring Syria if the sectarian violence there does not stop. Addressing journalists in Geneva, the U.N. chief said he is very concerned about the continuing deterioration of the situation in Syria.

    Ban is urging world leaders, particularly members of the Security Council and regional leaders, to unite to find a political solution to the bloody Syrian conflict.  

    Ban said there is little political space left in which to end a war that has claimed tens of thousands of lives and caused nearly 1 million Syrian refugees to flee to neighboring countries.

    “I am personally pained and distraught by the way this situation is continuing and deteriorating. We are soon going to enter into a third year; in just about two weeks' time we will be entering the third year of this crisis. How long [do] we have to see the people killed and distressed like this way,” said Ban.

    Ban said he strongly welcomes a proposal made by Syria’s opposition leader, Mouaz al-Khatib, to meet with representatives of the Syrian government. The secretary-general said he is particularly encouraged by the willingness of Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem to meet with the opposition.

    “This is a very small window of opportunity which we strongly support and encourage them to use them. The opportunity may soon close,”  he said.

    Ban said it is important to increase U.N. humanitarian assistance to millions of internally displaced people and refugees in the absence of political dialogue or a political resolution to end the war in Syria.

    He said U.N. agencies are doing their best to provide essential aid to these people who are in desperate need of help. Unfortunately, he said, the U.N. has limited resources that are outpaced by the large numbers of people fleeing the conflict.

    The U.N. chief said he will have in-depth discussions with the Joint Special Representative, Lakhdar Brahimi, on Saturday to discuss the Syrian situation. He said other senior advisers, special representatives and special envoys will participate in these talks.

    You May Like

    Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    Half-million motorcycles are expected to rumble Sunday afternoon from Pentagon to Vietnam War Memorial for rally in event group calls Ride for Freedom

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    Video Canine Reading Buddies Help Students With Literacy

    Idea behind reading program is that sharing book with nonjudgmental companion boosts students' confidence and helps instill love of reading

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Tom Johnson from: Florida
    March 02, 2013 5:29 PM
    Give sanctions more time.

    by: Zephania
    March 02, 2013 10:11 AM
    Personally pained and distraught about Syria, what about Zimbabwe, where so many lives were lost, people dispossessed of their land, and a vast number of refugees forced to flee to South Africa - 3 million approx. Please consider their plight.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora