News / Middle East

Obama: Syria Solution Must Be Verifiable, Enforceable

President Barack Obama meets with the emir of Kuwait, Sheik al Ahmad Jaber al-Sabah, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Sept. 13, 2013.
President Barack Obama meets with the emir of Kuwait, Sheik al Ahmad Jaber al-Sabah, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Sept. 13, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
— President Barack Obama has repeated that any diplomatic solution to the Syrian chemical weapons issue must be verifiable and enforceable. He spoke after talks Friday with the emir of Kuwait, Sheik al Ahmad Jaber al-Sabah, which also covered Egypt's political and economic crisis and other issues.  

Kuwait is an important non-NATO regional ally of the United States, and a key member of the Gulf Cooperation Council, which works closely with Washington on regional political and security issues.

With Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait supported a joint statement, issued on the margins of this month's G20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, condemning the August chemical attack in Syria.

The president said Syria was at the top of the list of items during the talks with the Kuwaiti leader.

"Our two countries are in agreement that the use of chemical weapons that we saw in Syria was a criminal act, and that it is absolutely important for the international community to respond not only in deterring repeated use of chemical weapons but hopefully getting those chemical weapons outside of Syria," said Obama.

Loading...

Obama said he hopes U.S.-Russian negotiations that now are taking place "bear fruit," and he repeated that any diplomatic solution must be verifiable and enforceable.

"We agreed that ultimately what is needed for the underlying conflict is a political settlement that allows ordinary Syrians to get back to their homes, to rebuild and to relieve the enormous suffering that is taking place."

Sheik al-Sabah spoke through a translator. "We also discussed the harsh humanitarian suffering of the Syrian people and the continuation of the ongoing humanitarian deterioration in Syria and suffering of the refugees, and the importance of interlacing all efforts in a speedy manner to reach a peaceful solution and keep the region free from danger of war," he said.

The talks also covered the political and economic crisis in Egypt - what the Kuwaiti leader called "the importance of achieving security and stability in Egypt and constructive efforts "on this road map."

Kuwait is a major source of financial support for Egypt, where unrest continues in the wake of the July military coup that toppled Islamist president Mohamed Morsi. Egypt's government continues to press a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood.

Kuwait announced in July it would provide $4 billion to Egypt, including a $2-billion deposit into the Egyptian central bank - aid that has helped Egypt in negotiations with the International Monetary Fund.

Other issues included Kuwait's relations with Iraq, security in the Gulf, and another issue of particular importance to Kuwait.

"We also discussed the continued detention of the two Kuwaiti detainees at Guantanamo and asked President Obama to speed up the process of releasing them, in line with the president's commitment of closing down Guantanamo and also in line with the assurances given by the Kuwaiti authorities," said Sabah.

It was the second White House meeting between the president and the Kuwaiti emir. Their talks in 2009 covered Iran, Afghanistan, Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts and Kuwait's support for U.S. forces still in Iraq at the time.

  • This citizen journalism image provided by Edlib News Network shows anti-Syrian regime protesters hold a poster depicting U.S. President Barack Obama during a demonstration in Kafr Nabil, Idlib province, Sept. 20, 2013.
  • Children sit along a damaged street filled with debris in the besieged area of Homs, Sept. 19, 2013.
  • Debris is seen on the ground after what activists said was shelling by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in the al-Myassar neighborhood of Aleppo, Sept. 19, 2013.
  • An injured man walks along a street after what activists said was shelling by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in the al-Myassar neighborhood of Aleppo, Sept. 19, 2013.
  • This citizen journalism image provided by The Syrian Revolution against Bashar Assad shows a Syrian military tank on fire during clashes with Free Syrian army fighters in Joubar, a suburb of Damascus, Sept. 18, 2013.
  • A member of the Shohadaa Badr Brigade, which operates under the Free Syrian Army, stands in shooting position behind sandbags in Ashrafieh, Aleppo, September 17, 2013.
  • Free Syrian Army fighters walk through rubble inside the old city of Aleppo, Sept. 16, 2013.
  • A Free Syrian Army fighter carries his weapon as he stands on rubble of damaged buildings in al-Aseela neighborhood near Aleppo's historic citadel, Sept. 13, 2013.
  • In this citizen journalism image provided by the United media office of Arbeen, a Syrian protester chants slogans during a demonstration in Arbeen, a suburb of Damascus, Sept. 13, 2013.

You May Like

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Open Source Seeds Hit the Market, Raise Awareness

First open source seeds include 29 new varieties of broccoli, celery, kale, quinoa and other vegetables and grains More

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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid