News / Middle East

    Brahimi: US Blocks Iran From Syria Peace Talks

    Lakhdar Brahimi (C), the U.N. envoy on Syria, waits with other delegates before a meeting at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, Dec. 20, 2013.
    Lakhdar Brahimi (C), the U.N. envoy on Syria, waits with other delegates before a meeting at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, Dec. 20, 2013.
    VOA News
    U.N.-Arab League peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi says 26 nations have been invited to attend a Syria peace conference next month, but that the U.S. has blocked Iran's participation.

    Brahimi says the U.S. remains unconvinced that Iran's attendance "would be the right thing to do."

    Iran has backed Syria's government in the country's nearly three-year-old conflict.

    Brahimi spoke after meeting Friday with U.S. and Russian delegations to determine which nations should be invited to the Syrian peace conference scheduled to open on January 22 in the Swiss city of Montreux.

    The conference has been delayed for months due to questions about who should represent the Syrian opposition and government, and which regional powers should be at the table.

    The goal of the talks is for the government and opposition to agree on a settlement that includes a transitional authority with full executive powers.

    After Friday's meeting, Brahimi also urged Syria's government to halt bomb attacks on civilians and for the Syrian opposition to release all prisoners, including children.  

    The meeting came a day after Russia blocked a U.N. Security Council statement that would have condemned Syria's government for recent missile and "barrel bomb" attacks on civilians.

    The fighting in Syria has killed more than 100,000 people and has forced millions more from their homes.


    Some information was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

    You May Like

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    Factions Shift as Civilians Die in Syrian War

    Scenario likely only to further confuse military situation on ground and potentially worsen humanitarian crisis that already has grown to epic proportions

    Presidential Hopefuls Woo Minorities, Evangelicals

    Four GOP candidates to speak at forum at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Sunny Enwerem from: Nigeria
    December 22, 2013 8:39 AM
    @Godwin....what ever Iran exports will surly come back,the Law of Karma has never been wrong, to rule is never the birth right of any family Assad should give way to change in his country or die with the change,one thing is certain which is his regime's involvement in the death of Hariri's death is hunting them all.

    by: Change Iran Now from: USA
    December 21, 2013 9:26 PM
    The risk of regional war has certainly not decreased, but in fact has escalated rapidly with the Syrian civil war fueled by Iranian fighters, funds and weapons. Deep unrest in Egypt and Israel aided by support and conflict for Hezbollah, Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. Not to mention strife in Iraq and Afghanistan where Iran deeply meddles with Sunni and Shiite conflicts. Iran’s hand is seen in virtually every regional conflict now raging throughout the Mideast, drawing in the West and Russia in a new and disturbing era of proxy wars.

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    December 21, 2013 6:46 AM
    There should not have been any serious misgiving about Iran's participation in the talks if the was not decisive in its support of Assad rather than the country; if Iran was not working to destroy other countries using certain elements within the region. From every point of view, Syria's crisis is a continuation of the Arab Spring which proved itself to be the worst thing to happen to the region in modern history, as it tends to turn the hand of the clock backward. Now Bashar al Assad, a chip of the old block, a shoot from the past, seemingly a continuation of hereditary oligarchy, proved to be a more preferable option than the so-called opposition (FSA etc.) that is trying to stop the Assad family rule to usher in what some thought was modern democracy. Now that it has been found out that the reverse is the case, should the world (including USA) not also change course to allow Assad transit his regime and found a lasting democracy in the country? After all such other countries like Saudi Arabia, etc. which have been under hereditary leadership for centuries are still subsisting and stable, though lacking certain things - which cannot be exchanged for the crisis in those countries that embraced the Arab Spring like Syria. In all the places where the Arab Spring caused a change of government - Tunisia, Egypt, Libya - it has been one trouble or another, and there is no peace especially for free thinkers, minorities and liberals. The world should not be about to make another mistake just for the sake of change that is unsustainable and retrogressive - just because USA wants change. Iran though has not been a good friend of the region, while its exclusion may not be in the best interest of Assad and the talks, its inclusion is feared for its antisemitic views wherein its leverage with the subsisting regime continues to fuel insurgency through Hamas and Hezbollah thereby destabilizing the region further. If Iran will drop its support of militancy and pursue a greater and wider mission of regional coherence, its future inclusion in peace negotiations and settlements can be meaningful. For now, though it has been touted that though at government level Iran is belligerent to some regional players but its people are docile and amenable to peace with all, but it is the same people that make up the government that antagonize the region. Therefore Iran must first drop the idea of buying cheap popularity with the Arabs, embrace proper diplomatic pursuit to be able to be found worthy to mediate in regional conflicts. It cannot be directly or indirectly involved in conflicts and at the same time be expected to play the role of a mediator. It cannot be the prosecutor and judge at the same time. Think this is the major ground its exclusion becomes justified.

    by: Anonymous
    December 21, 2013 5:08 AM
    There is all sorts of iranians that have been hired by bashar al assad to do his criminal work.

    by: Sunny Enwerem from: Nigeria
    December 20, 2013 11:46 AM
    Here they go again!another year for the jobless diplomats flying up and down wasting time and doing noting knowing very well that noting will happen till Assad's term is over next year but for now they should go and bury their heads in shame for failing to arm the FSA when mostly needed leading to the straighten of the Islamist .
    In Response

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    December 21, 2013 6:58 AM
    Sunny, FSA is just a name given to an incoherent opposition against Bashar al Assad. The opposition is scattered in their viewpoint and objectives. Now it includes al qaida mostly seeking an islamic republic in Syria. USA should rather throw all its weight behind Assad to return the country to peaceful ways before looking for avenues to make a desired and lasting change for democracy in the country. It cannot because of Iran throw away the baby with the bathwater. Supporting the Opposition and so bring in more terrorists next door to Israel after Hamas and Hezbollah have been there, will extend the war front; that will be very disastrous.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.