News / Middle East

    UN General Assembly Spotlights Syria Crisis

    Syria's U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari (L), speaks to Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin (C), and China's deputy U.N. Ambassador Wang Min before the United Nations General Assembly passed a draft resolution condemning Syria, at the United Nations inSyria's U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari (L), speaks to Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin (C), and China's deputy U.N. Ambassador Wang Min before the United Nations General Assembly passed a draft resolution condemning Syria, at the United Nations in
    x
    Syria's U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari (L), speaks to Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin (C), and China's deputy U.N. Ambassador Wang Min before the United Nations General Assembly passed a draft resolution condemning Syria, at the United Nations in
    Syria's U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari (L), speaks to Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin (C), and China's deputy U.N. Ambassador Wang Min before the United Nations General Assembly passed a draft resolution condemning Syria, at the United Nations in
    Margaret Besheer
    The crisis in Syria was again at the top of world leaders’ agendas Friday during the United Nations General Assembly’s annual debate.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow condemns the violence from both the government and armed opposition, and said the opportunity still exists to take collective action.

    “Practical steps to overcome the crisis need to begin with a comprehensive cease-fire, release of prisoners and hostages, and supply of additional humanitarian aid. This would create conditions to start an inter-Syrian dialogue,” he said through an interpreter.
    Russia, along with partner China, has used its veto three times to prevent action against the government of President Bashar al-Assad, incurring the anger of much of the Western and Arab Worlds, and paralyzing the 15-nation U.N. Security Council.
    German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said this impasse must end.

    Syrian Refugees by Country

    • Jordan: 94,454
    • Turkey: 87,774
    • Lebanon: 79,811
    • Iraq: 29,441

    Source: UNHCR
    “Despite the escalating violence and despite the deadlock in the Security Council, we must not stop working on a political solution,” he said.
     
    Activists estimate that nearly 30,000 Syrians have been killed since the uprising began 18 months ago. The United Nations refugee agency said this week that nearly 300,000 Syrians have fled the violence and registered in neighboring states. Turkey has taken the largest number of refugees, nearly 90,000.

    Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said it is a “disgrace” that the international community has not taken one “effective action” to end the bloodshed and he laid the blame on the polarized U.N. Security Council.

    “It is the inability of the Security Council to act that still encourages the Syrian regime to kill ever more people,” said Davutoğlu.

    He said Assad’s regime must go and allow an interim government to lead the country to free and fair elections.

    Saudi Arabia’s vice minister of foreign affairs, Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah, said the success of new U.N.-Arab League Syria envoy Lakhdar Brahimi depends on creating a new strategy and a clear-cut plan aimed at achieving a peaceful transition of power.

    On the sidelines of the General Assembly, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton chaired a meeting of the Friends of the Syrian People. She announced that the United States is providing an additional $30 million in humanitarian assistance to help those affected by the crisis.

    • Damaged buildings in the northern city of Aleppo following months of clashes and battles between Syrian rebels and government forces, September 28, 2012.
    • A Syrian rebel fighter unloads an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) from a pick up during fighting with government troops in the old city of Aleppo, September 28, 2012.
    • Free Syrian Army fighter scans for targets from a building in Aleppo, Syria, September 27, 2012.
    • A member of the Free Syrian Army carries his wounded comrade who was shot during clashes with Syrian Army forces as others shout for help in Aleppo, Syria, September 27, 2012.
    • A Syrian man is comforted after the death of his brother, who witnesses say was shot by a Syrian Army sniper, outside Dar El Shifa Hospital in Aleppo, Syria, September 27, 2012.
    • A member of the Free Syrian Army open fire from his machine gun during clashes with Syrian Army forces in Aleppo, September 27, 2012.
    • Free Syrian Army fighters walk down stairs in a damaged building in Aleppo, Syria, September 26, 2012.

    You May Like

    US-Russia Tensions Complicate Syria War

    With a shared enemy and opposing allies, Russia and the US are working to avoid confrontation

    Video Re-opening Old Wounds in Beirut's Bullet-riddled Yellow House

    Built in neo-Ottoman style in 1920s, it is set to be re-opened in Sept. as ‘memory museum’ - bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity

    Cambodian-Americans Lobby for Human Rights Resolution

    Resolution condemns all forms of political violence in Cambodia, urges Cambodian government to end human rights violations, calls for respect of press freedom

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Melisa Brown from: UK
    September 29, 2012 10:17 AM
    oh... i love the UN... their sole duty appears to be to condemn Israel and "spotlighting" Islamic and Arab atrocities when they become too obvious to hide... its has been almost 10 years now that we have witnessed Arab Islamic militias brutally raping enslaving and slaughtering hundred of thousands of Black African tribesmen in Darfur... and wouldn't you know it... at the same time period the UN has managed to condemn Israel 423 times... listen to this... if you like a joke... Israel was condemned 14 times by U.N. Human Rights Council when SYRIA was in charge and heading that august body of conscientious enlightened diplomats... UN... don't you love it...?

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora