Syria talks produce very little
GENEVA — The top diplomats from the United States and Russia raised hopes for reviving broader talks to end the Syrian civil war Friday, even as they showed scant progress in hurried efforts to tackle one horrific part — the chemical weapons fired on civilians. U.N. inspectors prepared to turn in their own poison gas report this weekend.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he expected the inspectors to release “an overwhelming report” that chemical weapons were used on the outskirts of Damascus on Aug. 21. The chief inspector, Ake Sellstrom, would not comment on its conclusions.
The Syrian government and rebels blame each other for the attack in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta. The Obama administration, which says 1,429 people were killed, has said it has evidence that clearly indicates the Syrian government was behind the attack. But Russia, a key ally of Syria, has said it is not convinced by the U.S. evidence.
The U.N. inspectors have a mandate to determine whether chemical weapons were used, not to establish who was responsible. But two U.N. diplomats said the report could point to the perpetrators, saying that the inspectors collected many samples from the attack and also interviewed doctors and witnesses.
Leading the central talks in Geneva, Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov made clear that any prospects for restarting broad peace negotiations depend on first settling the standoff over chemical weapons. But they didn't disclose any clear movement since their meetings began Thursday.
Kerry and Lavrov met with U.N.-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi about the potential for a new Geneva peace conference. Kerry said he, Lavrov and Brahimi agreed to meet around Sept. 28 on the sidelines of the annual U.N. General Assembly meetings in New York.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Chinese jet buzzes Navy aircraft, Pentagon says
- Russia sends unauthorized convoy into Ukraine
- Witnesses recount secret July raid to free journalist at ISIS base in Syria
- Ebola spreads in Nigeria; Liberian treatment centers inundated
- Interpol probes Thailand’s ‘Baby Factory’
- 18 accused spies executed by Gaza terrorists
- Israeli airstrike kills 3 senior Hamas leaders
- Gaza militants kill 18 alleged spies for Israel
- Ukraine: Russian aid convoy is a ‘direct invasion’
- ‘Red Zone’ protest planned in Pakistan
- Islamic State fighters massacre as many as 700 Syrian tribesmen, activists report