From Washington, this is VOA news. The U.S. and Germany implore Russia do not provide missiles to Syria’s Assad. The Central African Republic issues a warrant for former President François Bozizé. I’m Vincent Bruce reporting from Washington.
The United States and Germany are urging Russia not to provide the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad with advanced anti-aircraft missiles.
U.S. Secretary of State John “We ask them again not to upset the balance within the region with respect to Israel. And the weaponry that is being provided Assad whether it is an old contract or not, it has a profoundly negative impact on the balance of interests and the stability of the region and it does put Israel at risk.”
After talks Friday in Washington, Kerry and German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said any Russian arms supplies to Syria could prolong the country’s civil war.
Russia has vowed to proceed with the transfer of anti-aircraft missiles to help deter foreign involvement in Syria’s civil war. But on Friday, the Interfax news agency reported that delivery of the air-defense system to Syria may be delayed by several months.
The new government of the Central African Republic has issued an international arrest warrant for former President François Bozizé, who was ousted in March.
Public prosecutor Alain Tolmo says the former president has been charged with murders, crimes against humanity, incitement to genocide and economic crimes.
Bozizé fled to Cameroon in March after fighters from the Seleka rebel coalition invaded the capital, Bangui.
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Defense officials from the Asia-Pacific region have begun an annual security forum with talks focusing on cyber security, maritime territorial disputes [with] and North Korea’s nuclear program.
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says he’ll address cyber security Saturday in his speech to the Shangri-La Security Dialogue in Singapore.
“There’s only one way to deal with these issues and that’s straight up. We intend to use all these venues, and that closer cooperation and closer venue-building to hopefully get us in a position where we can get some better understanding, clear understanding of what these rules of the road are.”
Hagel told reporters on the plane to Singapore that the issue will also likely come up in a brief meeting with Chinese delegates on the sidelines of the conference.
Voters in Bhutan cast ballots Friday, as the Himalayan nation began choosing a democratically elected government for only the second time since a century-old monarchy ceded power in 2008.
President Barack Obama and NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen have agreed that the alliance will hold a summit next year, as its forces conclude their combat operations in Afghanistan. VOA’s Kent Klein reports from the White House, where the two leaders met Friday After talking with the NATO leader, Mr. Obama said the U.S.-led international coalition in Afghanistan has achieved significant progress toward handing control of the country’s security to the Afghan people.
“We are now looking, over the next several weeks, to a new milestone, one that was set in Chicago, where we are transitioning to Afghan lead for combat operations in Afghanistan.”
NATO combat operations in Afghanistan are scheduled to conclude at the end of 2014. But Mr. Rasmussen said some U.S. and NATO troops will remain beyond that time to train, advise and assist Afghan forces.
The president said that as the deadline approaches, it would be helpful to hold another NATO summit.
Kent Klein, VOA news, the White House.
Some countries are suspending imports of U.S. wheat after an unapproved genetically modified variety turned up in a farmer’s field in the northwestern state of Oregon. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
The Oregon farmer discovered wheat in his field that survived treatment with the popular weed killer Roundup. Roundup is made by the seed and chemical company Monsanto.
The company has created genetically modified corn, cotton, soybeans and canola crops that tolerate Roundup. Monsanto had field-tested Roundup-tolerant varieties of wheat, too. The company never had the modified wheat approved or brought the seeds to market.
Monsanto abandoned the genetically modified wheat project largely because customers in Europe and Asia are especially wary of what are known as GMO crops. The discovery of unapproved wheat in Oregon has already prompted Japan and Korea to suspend some imports, at least temporarily.
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