mass destruction. today the committee for the follow-up committee of the arab peace initiative has had it's first meeting to discuss the person in issue and i would like to thank my friend kerry for his efforts with respect to the peace process and ending the conflict. he has -- john responded to several or addressed several of our concerns and questions on the part of the foreign ministers and members of the committee. i would also like to take the opportunity to also say to the excellence president and president hanei for achieving imitation of the doha agreement and reaching reconciliation. we have also renewed in our --
we have renewed our positions concerning the peace process and also in addressing all of the issues foremost among which are the issue of the border, jerusalem settlements, security and the release of palestinian prisoners. we have also asserted that the peace process is the shortest and most effective way to achieving stability in the region. the question is the key of peace security in the middle east region and it cannot be implemented except with the full israeli withdraw and the establishment of a palestinian state with full sovereignty with jerusalem as its capitol. we would also like to stress the arab commitment to a lasting peace. there is no doubt that there are
difficulties and obstacles facing us and the israeli government should therefore stop all settlement activities and should also give the peace efforts a chance to succeed so in order to reach a lasting settlement. we also warn against the repercussions of continued israeli practices that would hinder such progress. the ultimate goal of everyone is to reach a comprehensive peace and a lasting peace that would achieve peace. this is the initiatives that we have launched. and these are the arab principals for ending this conflict. and our friend john kerry has exerted great effort over the past few days and visited the region 11 times as i believe or 10 times.
and we appreciate the american role in this mediation effort. our friends are not parties that relay information between two parties. there are mediators in this process. and we hope that we can reach settlement that would satisfy the palestinian people and would be fair to them. thank you very much. >> the first will be from the associated press. >> thank you. secretary kerry in the meetings today with the 11 did you receive any commitment or even any indication from president that he would be able to deliver the coalition to next week's meetings and also if the coalition does not attend what sort of consequences might it face from the united states in
terms of credibility, support or aid and, lastly, what assurances have you so far received from representati representati representati representatives of the regime that it will attend? >> the -- i'm confidence personally i am confidence that the syrian opposition will come to geneva. we had some discussions today. he is working through certain issues that the president needs to work through and he needs to have the opportunity to have the space to do that. but i'm meeting with him again tomorrow and he met yesterday with prime minister and others
with foreign minister prince among others and had a constructive and positive meeting. we had a very constructive meeting today. he has had very constructive comments to maybe about it. and i am confident that he and others will be in geneva in order to pursue this negotiation. and with respect to the assad regime, we have been told that from day one they allegedly are prepared to negotiate and foreign minister labrof told me on several occasions they are prepared to be there. so i am counting on both parties as well as the 30 or so plus other nations to come together in an effort to try to end this violence as i described earlier. >> could you speak to what classes that is?
♪ to say that it's a test of the credibility of everybody and that's why i'm confident that they will be there, because i think they understand that. >> kerry said there is no military solution. and there is no other alternative. do rebels see it the same way? >> well, not all of them. that's part of the problem. the opposition doesn't speak with one unified voice and that has been an issue all along during this now nearly three-year long civil war. the opposition has spoken today. the head of the national coalition speaking today did say that all of the friends of syria did come to one common point
that syrian needs to move beyond the assad period and there is no future for bashir assad and how damascus will take that in light of the fact they are trying to gather all of these elements together for a -- the real peace talks in geneva towards the end of this month, you know, that might throw a fly in the ointment but that has been a probably all along, this precondition, both sides saying before we even come to the table we need x or y. now, we are hearing this kinds of language from not only secretary of state kerry, but other members of the friends of syria that they are cautiously optimistic. that they do believe the opposition will come to the table in geneva and start real face-to-face talks aimed at
ending the civil war. there is another day planned here, as you heard secretary of state kerry saying there, there will be very important meetings tomorrow between the u.n., special brahimi, the russian minister and secretary of state kerry. those are some major players there. the negotiations continue. the diplomacy continues. but it has to be stressed, morgan, this is a preamble and this is simply agreeing to come to the table. that's just the first step. it's an important first step, no doubt, but this is all about talks about talking. so if indeed the opposition does agree to go to switzerland for these face-to-face talks with the syrian government, it's a significant step, but then the real work will come to hand and those sleeves will have to be rolled up because obviously
there is a lot of bad blood between them. >> phil, very quickly did the opposition say when they would give kerry an answer? >> they have been saying all along they intend to give an answer on the 17th, so in the next coming days. now secretary of state kerry just said that he will be meeting again with the national coalition president tomorrow, whether or not there will be an early breakthrough on that, well, we will have to see. but so far they say they will make the announcement on the 17th and keeping in mind there are different factions and folks to touch upon and there needs to be a coming together it has been said by the friends of syria and there needs to be a coming together of the opposition so they speak with one unified voice and whether he can do that or not is another major issue in parish, morgan. >> the 17th. so you talked about some of the difficulties facing the preamble to the preamble in a sense.
so kerry just said he is confident the opposition will come to the table but what exactly are those obstacles the diplomates are facing right now? >> well, they are major obstacles. as i say one of the biggest ones is this precondition idea. both sides have been saying that, that we won't come to the table unless it's an already agreed-upon issue that president assad leaves or for that matter damascus saying we won't come to the table unless it's a preagreed decision there will not be a new president in syria. and it seems to be an impasse there on these kind of we won't come to the table unless this. having said that, as you have heard there from secretary of state kerry and also hearing it from other foreign ministers here in paris there is a widely-held consensus there is only one way, only one solution
to end the fighting in sierra and that is a diplomatic solution here. that is what they are saying. whether the warring parties take that on board as well, it might be a gap between what the foreign ministers are saying and what the actual people who are doing the actual fighting in syria believe. but the message here at least from the friends of syria is you have got to come to the table, you have to do it in geneva and geneva two is the way forward and a way to end the fighting and obviously that is why we all gathered in paris and you have 11 foreign ministers here. this is how important the international community takes this issue. whether they can twist the arm of the opposition and whether the opposition can come together on one single voice, that's what's being hashed out here in paris and it's vitally important as you can see by the really big hitters that are in town today. >> reporter: that is right, we heard secretary kerry say the only way forward is a diplomatic
solution and there he is live at a press conference with the foreign minister and thank you phil live in paris. you heard the date has been set. the state department just announced this afternoon that iran's nuclear program will be suspended in eight days. i spoke to our correspondent patty in washington d.c. about the iran deal. >> we expected they would come to some sort of agreement the date would start and basically what this means is we will start to see some action in iran and it means they will not enrich you' uranium and one concrete thing we will see is open up inspections from iaua and start to see sanctions relief given from the oil industry, their gold industry and precious metals and start getting spare parts for cars and also airplanes and some money held in overseas bank accounts will be released. now the obama administration says it's going to be about 6-7
billion worth of relief, outside experts said it could be much more but this is in the interrim agreement to get them to a place with a longer term solution they hope by next november. >> the obama administration is still facing political opposition here at home, will they really be able to overcome that? >> well, it's going to be a big fight in the u.s. senate. the house has already passed increased sanctions. what we are seeing is the u.n. senate wants to, many of the u.s. senators want to pass a bill that would have additional sanctions on iran that would hold off and just be there as a threat and if there is a sign it's not living up to their side of the bargain the sanctions would be put in place. obama administration has been fighting publically and behind the scenes to keep this from happening and some favor the and sanctions and they are ready to go and vote on this and it's hard to tell how close they are to the magic number because it's all being done behind the scenes
but the obama administration says if those sanctions are put into place, if the senate votes on it then it will scuttle the negotiations and, in fact, if you read the agreement it says the u.s. promises not to pass any additional sanctions on iran. so in his statement the president said he would veto any additional sanctions but quite frankly it's not clear the senators don't have enough votes to override the veto although that is almost unheard on foreign policy and the last time was with ronald reagan and vote on apartheid and this is unusual to be over written around policy but there are those that think they can do it. >> reporter: the deal mentioned specific steps being taken between now and january 20 to halt iran's nuclear program and what exactly are the specific steps? >> well, the steps are it all involves the center fuge and get
rid of it from 20-30% and that is concerns for nuclear scientists because they said it's for peace and nuclear research and energy and people don't believe you need 20% to do that. one fear has been it's easier to go from 20% to 90, 95% is what you would need for some sort of nuclear weapon. so the president, president obama is highlighting concrete steps that certain center fuge will not spin and 20% is going to be dismantled and it begins january 20 and not all happen in one day. this is a six-month to a ten-month negotiation agreement and they will take a step and more sanctions relieved and another step and more sanctions so it's a delicate process and a lot of room for miscommunication in there. but what the ultimate goal is to give them some breathing room so
they can sit down and come up with issues of whether or not iran gets a keep a nuclear program, that is really the basis of the long-term negotiation. they are going to begin those negotiations and again the agreement says that they should have a deal done by november of this year, 2014. >> reporter: that was patty reporting from washington d.c. and still to come, israel prepares to lay former prime minister aerial sharon to rest and you are watching al jazeera america. ♪
sharon and the burial will be at the family farm in south israel tomorrow and we were at the viewing. >> this is the closest thing that israel has to the u.s. capitol. we are outside of the parliament and earlier today we were talking about how polarizing ariel sharon was and not a lot of people saying respects and passing by. hundreds and thousands of people have actually come here after work to pay their respects to say thank you to a man who perhaps more than any other in the last 50 years really defined israeli state and recreated its borders and this is who they are sayi saying good-bye to, surrounded by military offices he led for decades and inspired so long. and people here call him a war hero people say he was the pillar of israeli strength and so many other people in the region are calling him the symbol of israeli cruelty and talking to palestinians in
certain areas that he targeted as a military commander and a lot of people will call him a war criminal. a lot of people will say that he was ruthless and brutal and went after palestinians and prevented them from having a state and had squads and led commanders who created israel's reputation for ruthless reprisal and critics of ariel sharon but he is being thanked for the service in the israeli army and prime minister and as many other effects people not only in the region but not just recently but for the last 60 years. >> that was nick from israel. dispute efforts by mediators they are no closer to a cease fire deal and the talks continue
and the fighting ranges on and it has a city loyal to the former vice president and we have more. >> we have been coming in and out of here since 2010 and it is busy and bustling town and markets and businesses have been thriving now look at it, it's decimated during the fighting. we told the division commander when it started and join forces loyal to the president and they were in control of bentu for quite some time and they moved in and pushed them out and think the rebels are hitting to the jungle where there is fighting going on and thousands are displaced and civilians and soldiers have been killed. civilians who ran away from fighting and say they are too afraid to come back into the
town. >> reporter: that was reporting from bentu south sudan. they are due at the scene of thursday's chemical spill in west virginia, 300,000 residents are still without tap water and still no word on when it will be back. dozens of people have gone to emergency rooms reporting nausea and four so far have been hospitalized and testing continues for the chemical mc mm that leaked from a storage tank on thursday. >> we have developed a set of protocols and methods to assess this particular chemical, a nonregulated chemical that did not have an existing set of protocols. >> reporter: officials say contamination levels are falling and rains helped flush out the spill but it's still expected to be days before people will be told that it is safe to use their tap water again. >> it may come to find that if the numbers are found to be below 1 part per million then we may not have to flush the entire area. i think the systems are working,
all trends are going in the right direction and hoping we keep going in the direction and don't see a reason why we won't. >> reporter: so far fema brought 370,000 gallons of water to charleston and 9 surrounding counties. after an earthquake devastated haiti they are trying to rebuild their lives in port that prince. >> she lived here 3 1/2 years and not her home, that was destroyed in 2010. and she moves to a tent city in port-au-prince. >> it was difficult life and the heat and moss -- mosquitos were killing us. >> reporter: when she was offered $500 it was a huge
relief and took the money like thousands of others, and the building across the road is where they process money transfers and open five days a week and people come up and line up for hours and wait patiently for what they have been told is a way out of the tent cities they are living in. the money comes from the haiti government and groups and once they accept it they have three days to destroy the tent and move into a new place and the man told us it doesn't go far. >> translator: we pay the rent with the money they gave us. and now we have no money to eat, it doesn't make sense and would have been better to stay where we were. >> reporter: a coalition of 40 organizations fighting for the rights of around 300,000 people still living in tent cities. it claims $2 billion should have been spent on helping them has gone to nongovernment organizations instead. >> translator: ngo spend a lot on cars, on big salaries because the foreigners working far from their country so they receive very high salaries.
it's about equipment, salaries and maintenance. >> reporter: and he says there are still serious problems at the camps and limited access to toilets and drinkable water violence is increasing and origination people claim the government has forcibly evicted tens of thousands of people and say relocating them is a priority. after her rental subsidy ran out she moved to a second tent city and it's outside the capitol and no jobs and no public transport. >> translator: it's very isolated but i don't have a choice. i don't want to live if a place like this. we hear about the authorities but we don't know about the government, no one comes to visit or talk to us. >> reporter: it's not the life she wanted for herself and family but it's the only future she can imagine, i'm at
port-au-prince. >> reporter: last week's polar vortex is still creating problems and that story is next only al jazeera america. ♪ that sometimes they have lost -- at times they have -- they don't have the self-confidence that is sufficient for a nation to act on in their own interest. and it is very dangerous that we have depleted a nation from its self confidence. >> revelations about possible u.s. interference in the last presidential elections here come just a few months before afghan's go to the polls to vote for their next leader. president karzai has warned repeatedly against foreign manipulation. a warning that now seems to hold more weight. jane ferguson, al jazeera, kabul, afghanistan. now here is an intriguing proposition, could some of the prominent faces the british side of the iraq war about to
apoor officially accused of war crimes, it is not beyond the realms of possibility in criminal court it seems. straight to our news center to ♪ hello to you and welcome back to al jazeera american, i'm morgan radford from inn new york and here are the headlines, for the first time iran will begin eliminating the stockpile of higher levels of enriched uranium and dismantle facilities and jerry said he is confident the opposition group will attend peace talks in geneva and if they do they will come face-to-face with the assad government. israeli officials and public sunday paid their last respects to former prime minister ariel
sharon in jerusalem and buried in a military funeral at his home next to his late wife lillie. and frustration grows for thousands of west virginia people who have the fourth day without safe tap water. ♪ i'm metrologist eboni deon and we have the winds whipping but i want to show you the radar scene because with the rain along coasting areas of washington and oregon it's coming down and light to moderate and breaking up some and know in the mountains of the cascades of washington and oregon and and it's persistent and down in the mountains of colorado just off to the west of denver. add in the mix the winds and it's blowing the snow around really making it very difficult to see on some of those highway
passes so you really need to be extra careful here and winds not bad around boise and at 13 miles per hour but montana and great falls the winds are up to 40 miles per hour and winds right around 35-nearly 40 miles per hour as you make your way around billings and the casper, wyoming and the winds are a driving force to cause problems on the roads. this is i-90 when earlier today the eastbound lanes were actually shut down. looks like now things are free flowing but it's still going to be a very slow and slippery go and watch out for that. meanwhile across the rest of the country we have high pressure that built in behind the passing front that now made its way off the east coastline and mainly dry in the north east but flooding is a concern and it has been dropped over pennsylvania and we have them in place for the alaganey river and the main concern is up state new york and vermont and maine and dealing
with ice jam problems because of the rain and melting show and mild temperatures and the temperatures are feeling good and 59 memphis and 30s in chicago, the next shot of much colder air comes in wednesday and that will impact the upper midwest initially with temperatures down in the teens and 20s. morgan? >> thanks so much eboni speaking of weather crews in up state new york are working to break up a massive ice jam, it built up under a bridge at a creek and causing fear the water will overflow and create a flooding hazard and as a result nearby residents in ithica are using bags to protect the homes and they say they never saw an ice jam this big >> never so thick. used to be to freeze over to ice skate when we were kids but never this bad. >> reporter: roads are closed as they use heavy machinery to break up the ice and i'm morgan