News / Middle East

    Western Powers Criticize Russian-Syrian Arms Sales

    Members of the citizens action and human rights group Avaaz stage a protest with fake blood, body bags and wearing the mask of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad and Russia's Vladimir Putin outside the United Nations, January 24, 2012.
    Members of the citizens action and human rights group Avaaz stage a protest with fake blood, body bags and wearing the mask of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad and Russia's Vladimir Putin outside the United Nations, January 24, 2012.
    Margaret Besheer

    Britain, France and the United States condemned Russia’s sales of weapons to Syria on Tuesday, saying it is contributing to violence in that country.

    Without naming Russia directly, but making it clear that it was the country they were speaking about, the three ambassadors separately criticized Moscow’s arms deals with Damascus during a meeting about the wider Middle East in the United Nations Security Council.

    Russia has been in the news recently because a Russian ship carrying ammunition sailed to the Syrian port of Tartus, and most recently it was reported in Moscow that the government has signed a $500 million deal to sell Damascus 36 fighter jets.

    U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said Washington is concerned by reports of shipments of arms and munitions to the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

    “We call on supplier countries to voluntarily halt arms transfers to the regime," said Rice.  "And we encourage all nations to join the widening effort to stop the flow of weapons to the Assad regime.”

    Britain’s U.N. ambassador, Mark Lyall Grant, said his government is concerned about weapons reaching Syria, both those sold or smuggled to the government or the opposition.  And Lyall Grant took issue with a recent interview Russia’s ambassador gave to the BBC in which he said that Moscow’s continued sale of arms to Damascus had “no effect on the situation at all.”

    “We fundamentally disagree," said Grant.  "It is glaringly obvious that transferring weapons into a volatile and violent situation is irresponsible and will only fuel the bloodshed.”

    France’s envoy, Gérard Araud, was more direct, urging arms embargoes be imposed and mentioning the movement of weapons from Iran into Syria.  He is heard here through a translator:

    “It is unacceptable for countries, including within the [Security] Council, to continue to provide the means by which violence is committed against the Syrian people,” said Araud.

    Both the Russian and Chinese ambassadors were silent on the subject of Syria during their remarks.

    Western powers have suggested that Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby brief the Security Council on the League’s monitoring mission, which has just finished a month-long visit to Syria that has been plagued with difficulties.

    On Tuesday, Syria’s national news agency reported that the Interior Ministry has agreed to extend the mission’s mandate for a second month, despite rejecting the Arab proposal for ending the crisis that includes President Assad transferring power to a deputy and preparations for elections.

    The United Nations also has confirmed that it received a letter from the head of the Arab League requesting a meeting with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to present its proposals on resolving the crisis and seek the Security Council’s support.

    You May Like

    US Internet Giants, EU Reach Deal to Combat Online Hate Speech

    Facebook, Twitter, Google and Microsoft commit to ‘quickly and efficiently’ act to clamp down on use of social media to incite violence, terror

    Video Tunisia’s Ennahda Party Begins a New Political Chapter

    Party now moves to separate its political and religious activities; change described by party members as pragmatic response to political and economic challenges facing Tunisia today

    Virtual Reality Fine-tuned at Asia Tech Show

    Microchip designers hope to improve resolution for users of systems that can turn your bedroom into the ocean floor

    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.
    Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conferencei
    X
    Serginho Roosblad
    May 30, 2016 5:11 PM
    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conference

    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video US Military's Fallen Honored With Flags

    Memorial Day is a long weekend for most Americans. For some, it is the unofficial start of summer -- local swimming pools open and outdoor grilling season begins. But Memorial Day remains true to its origins -- a day to remember the U.S. military's fallen.
    Video

    Video Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    The Rolling Thunder caravan of motorcycles rolled into Washington Sunday, to support the U.S. military on the country's Memorial Day weekend
    Video

    Video A New Reading Program Pairs Kids with Dogs

    Dogs, it is said, are man's best friend. What some researchers have discovered is that they can also be a friend to a struggling reader. A group called Intermountain Therapy Animals trains dogs to help all kinds of kids with reading problems — from those with special needs to those for whom English is a second language. Faiza Elmasry has more on the New York chapter of R.E.A.D., or Reading Education Assistance Dogs, in this piece narrated by Faith Lapidus.
    Video

    Video Fan Base Grows for Fictional Wyoming Sheriff Longmire

    Around the world, the most enduring symbol of the U.S. is that of the cowboy. A very small percentage of Americans live in Western rural areas, and fewer still are cowboys. But the fascination with the American West is kept alive by such cultural offerings as “Longmire,” a series of books and TV episodes about a fictional Wyoming sheriff. VOA’s Greg Flakus recently spoke with Longmire’s creator, Craig Johnson, and filed this report from Houston.
    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.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora