News / Middle East

    US Postpones Syria Talks with Russia

    Secretary of State John Kerry speaks about the situation in Syria, at the State Department in Washington, Aug. 26, 2013.Secretary of State John Kerry speaks about the situation in Syria, at the State Department in Washington, Aug. 26, 2013.
    x
    Secretary of State John Kerry speaks about the situation in Syria, at the State Department in Washington, Aug. 26, 2013.
    Secretary of State John Kerry speaks about the situation in Syria, at the State Department in Washington, Aug. 26, 2013.
    VOA News
    The United States has postponed a meeting with Russian officials scheduled for later this week to discuss the situation in Syria, as Washington weighs its response to allegations that Syrian forces used chemical weapons last week.

    The talks Wednesday in the Hague were due to be the latest in the U.S.-Russian bid to find a political solution to the crisis.

    A senior State Department official said late Monday the delay is in light of the "ongoing consultations" on how to respond to reports of chemical weapons use in Syria.

    Russian Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Gennady Gatilov said Russia regrets the U.S. decision.

    A White House spokesman said Monday there is "very little doubt" the Syrian government used chemical weapons.

    Russia, a Syrian ally, has dismissed the allegations, saying the United States and other Western nations do not have proof of such an attack.

    The U.S.-Russian effort to bring together the Syrian government and the opposition for peace talks has yet to result in negotiations.  The State Department official says the U.S. remains committed to the process and will reschedule the planned talks with Russia.

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday the use of chemical weapons in Syria is a "moral obscenity."  He said President Barack Obama believes there must be accountability for those who would use what he called such "heinous weapons."

    Obama is evaluating potential options, but has not decided on any response.

    Related video report by Luis Ramirez at the Pentagon

    US Weighs Military Options in Syria i
    X
    August 27, 2013 9:31 AM
    The Obama administration is weighing whether to launch strikes against Syria, following a chemical weapons attack that killed hundreds of civilians last week. VOA Pentagon correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

    Kerry said that in the days following the reports of the chemical weapons attack, the Syrian government refused access to the site, and instead shelled the area. He said "that is not the behavior of a government that has nothing to hide."

    There has been mounting pressure on the United States and other countries to address Syria’s two-year conflict, following allegations last week that chemical weapons were used outside of Damascus, killing hundreds of people.

    President Obama said last year that chemical weapons use in Syria would cross a "red line,'' and likely would change his calculation in deciding on a U.S. response.  However, the president took little action after reports earlier this year that chemical weapons were used on a small scale in Syria.

    Earlier Monday, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said any action on Syria will be taken "in concert with the international community and within the framework of legal justification."  He made the comment on a visit to Indonesia.
     
    Some U.S. lawmakers, including Mr. Obama's opponent in the 2008 presidential election, Senator John McCain, have called for limited strikes against Syrian military targets.

    You May Like

    Brexit Vote Triggers Increase in Racist Attacks

    Britain's decision to leave European Union seen by some as 'permission' to unleash anti-immigrant resentment

    Russian Military Tests Readiness With Snap Inspections

    Some observers see surprise drill as tit-for-tat response to NATO’s recent multinational military exercises in Baltic region

    AIIB Takes Big Strides Amid Fears About China's Dominance

    Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank says it is independent, but concerns persist; China holds 20.6 percent of bank's shares, others have less than 7.5 percent each

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmarki
    X
    John Owens
    June 26, 2016 2:04 PM
    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    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 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.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora