News / Middle East

World Powers Discuss Syria at UN

Diplomats Debate Military Action Against Syriai
X
August 29, 2013 11:44 AM
The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council are discussing a draft resolution that would authorize military strikes against Syria because of the alleged use of chemical weapons. But the U.S. says it is not waiting for the U.N. to act before making its own decision. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports from Washington.
Related video report by Meredith Buel in Washington
Margaret Besheer
​The world’s major powers met at the United Nations Wednesday to discuss a British-drafted Security Council resolution that would open the door to military intervention in Syria, in response to last week’s chemical gas attack that killed hundreds of people. 

Ambassadors from the five permanent Security Council members - Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States - met behind closed doors to discuss the proposed resolution. It would authorize “all necessary measures” to protect Syrian civilians in the wake of last week’s poison gas attack - diplomatic speak for military intervention.

The United States and Britain said this week that there is very little doubt President Bashar al-Assad’s forces perpetrated the August 21 attack.

Diplomats in New York would not speak to reporters. But in Washington, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf indicated the United States does not see a way forward at the United Nations.

“We see no avenue forward, given continued Russian opposition to any meaningful [Security] Council action on Syria," she said. "Therefore, the United States will continue its consultations and take appropriate actions to respond in the days ahead.”

International military deployments directed toward SyriaInternational military deployments directed toward Syria
x
International military deployments directed toward Syria
International military deployments directed toward Syria
Russia and China have used their U.N. veto three times since the crisis began in 2011 to prevent sanctions and other censure of the Syrian government.

In Moscow, Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov told the Interfax news agency that any Security Council reaction would be “premature” before a U.N. inspection team presents its report.

U.N. inspectors continued their work in Syria Wednesday, visiting several locations in the Damascus suburbs, including impact sites, where they collected additional information and samples.

At the United Nations, Syrian Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari said his government has written to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to inform him of new allegations of poison gas use against the army. He said soldiers inhaled agents similar to the nerve gas sarin on August 22, 24 and 25 in the suburbs of Damascus.

“Dozens of Syrian soldiers are currently [being] treated in Syrian hospitals, due to this use of chemical agents by the terrorist armed groups operating in the countryside of Damascus,” he said.

The envoy said Damascus is asking the U.N. chief to extend the 14-day mission of the inspectors, who are due to leave in the coming days, so they can “immediately investigate” these claims.

Ambassador Ja’afari also dismissed allegations that his government has used chemical weapons, saying they are a “moral atrocity.”  He noted that if attacked, Syria has the right to self-defense

You May Like

VOA Exclusive: Interview With Myanmar President Thein Sein

Thein Sein calls allegations that minority Muslim Rohingya are fleeing alleged torture in Rakhine state a media fabrication More

Video Better Protective Suit Sought for Ebola Caregivers

Current suit is uncomfortable, requires too many steps for removal, increasing chance of deadly contact with virus More

UN Rights Commission Investigates Eritrea

Three-member commission will start collecting first-hand information from victims and other witnesses in Switzerland and Italy next week 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.
Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concernsi
X
November 19, 2014 11:39 PM
The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.
Video

Video What Jon Stewart Learned About Iran From 'Rosewater'

Jon Stewart, host of the satirical news program "The Daily Show" talks with Saman Arbabi of Voice of America's Persian service about Stewart's directorial debut, "Rosewater."
Video

Video Lebanese Winemakers Thrive Despite War Next Door

In some of the most volatile parts of Lebanon, where a constant flow of refugees crosses the border from Syria, one industry continues to flourish against the odds. Lebanese winemakers say after surviving a brutal civil war in the 1970s and 80s, they can survive anything. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.
Video

Video China's Rise Closely Watched

China’s role as APEC host this week allowed a rare opportunity for Beijing to showcase its vision for the global economy and the region. But as China’s stature grows, so have tensions with other countries, including the United States. VOA’s Bill Ide in Beijing reports on how China’s rise as a global power is seen among Chinese and Americans.

All About America

AppleAndroid