Syrian govt to take part in peace conference

AP News
Posted: May 24, 2013 4:27 AM

MOSCOW (AP) — The Syrian government has agreed to a conference on the country's future proposed by Russia and the United States, Russia's foreign ministry said Friday

Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in televised remarks that the Syrian government had "agreed in principle" to participate in the conference in Geneva which is expected within two weeks. Lukashevich, however, said that it is impossible to set the date for the conference at this point because there is "no clarity about who will speak on behalf of the opposition and what powers they will have."

Opposition groups have spoken against Assad's representatives taking part.

Lukashevich also said Moscow "was not encouraged" by the results of recent meetings of members of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces.

More than 70,000 people have been killed and several million displaced since the uprising against Assad erupted in March 2011 and escalated into a civil war.