News / Middle East

Russia, France Split on Syria Arms Report

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (R) and his French counterpart, Laurent Fabius, are seen at a news conference in Moscow, September 17, 2013.
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (R) and his French counterpart, Laurent Fabius, are seen at a news conference in Moscow, September 17, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
— Russia is still saying that Syrian rebels were responsible for a chemical weapons attack outside Damascus on August 21. The news comes after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met with his French counterpart Laurent Fabius in Moscow Tuesday to discuss the issue.

Russia has serious grounds to believe that the attack was a provocation by the opponents of President Bashar al-Assad, Lavrov said. He added that the event must be "impartially, objectively, professionally investigated."

Lavrov said that there hasn’t been enough evidence presented proving that only the Syrian government could have carried out the attack.

The comments by Russia’s foreign minister come a day after a United Nations report cited clear and convincing evidence that the nerve agent sarin was used in the attack that the U.S. says killed 1,400 people, 400 of them children.

Lavrov’s French counterpart, Laurent Fabius, said Tuesday he has no doubts that Syria's government was responsible for the attack.

Fabius said that if people were to look at the amount of sarin used in the attack, the equipment that was needed and the targets, there is no doubt the Syrian regime is behind the August 21 attack.

Lavrov had intended to host his French counterpart in order to come to some sort of an agreement on a U.N. resolution for the removal of Syria’s chemical weapons.

Moscow has refused to support a U.N. resolution backed by the U.S., France and Britain that would call for severe consequences if Damascus refuses to hand over its chemical weapons to the international community for dismantling.

Meanwhile, the Syrian government says it will adhere to an agreement between Moscow and Washington that it will hand over a full account of its chemical weapons.

The Kremlin has refused to back several rounds of sanctions against its Middle Eastern ally, maintaining dialogue with both sides is necessary for peace. Moscow also continues to sell arms to Damascus, although Russian President Vladimir Putin maintains none of them can be used in a civil conflict.

You May Like

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Igor from: Russia
September 17, 2013 10:55 PM
Of course the terrorist rebels was able to launch the chemical attack because many of them used to belong to Syrian Army and a lot of Syrian weapons and ammunitions (including chemical weapons) have been lost to them during the war. Also, the rebels received weapons illegally from some of their sponsors such as France, the USA, The UK, Turkey. No one can be sure that such capable countries did not help the rebels to frame up the chemical attack to blame Syrian government for it. So that they can have a pretext to strike Syria. We should study the motive of each participant to come to a conclusion.


by: Anonymous
September 17, 2013 7:54 PM
Well of COURSE Russia is going to say the rebels did it. The Russians would not want to be partially LIABLE for providing the chemical weapons that assad has. They will fight it til to the end even if red handed.


by: Anonymous
September 17, 2013 1:02 PM
I would put money on the fact bashar al assad was likely set up with his chemicals by the Russians. It is for this reason that Putin is being overly nice to assad, forgiving him for murdering nearly 100,000 civilians. Because Putin probably doesn't want bashar al assad to open his mouth to the west. Putin may be afraid of the secrets bashar al assad knows, and could spell trouble for Putin. Perhaps this is why Putin will do ANYTHING to not prosecute bashar al assad for any crimes whatsoever, no matter how many civilians he murders.

Putins behaviour is disgusting before the world.


by: Yoshiyuki Fudemoto from: 1-3-4 Shoujihigashi
September 17, 2013 8:34 AM
These few days, I think,a great achievement for the U.S foreign
policy in the Middle East, the accord with Russia in Geneva,signed
by Mr.Kerry and the Russian counterpart,Mr.Lavcolf shall a big step
foward to the peace and stablity for the region,Yoshiyuki Fudemoto,Osaka,Japan


by: Ramnarayan from: Florida, USA
September 17, 2013 6:41 AM
Yes, we all knew that attack happened. Now, can we have the truth about who are all responsible please. No sound bites, no pre judging, but believable truth only. Then let us talk about punishing ALL the culprits, whoever they may be and their supporters. Our leaders could learn the meaning benefit of doubt or innocent until proven guilty, the later drives our way of life in the Western world.

In Response

by: atlas from: uk
September 19, 2013 7:41 AM
more to the point. Why is u.s.a and Israel not being prosecuted for their crimes. they used prohibited substances here and there against weak nations. starting from Vietnam etc....... one rule for one another rule for another.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid