Still no agreement on Syria conference participants: Russia

5th June 2013, Comments 0 comments

A peace conference to negotiate an end to the bloodshed in Syria will not be held in June because the Syrian opposition still cannot decide on its participation as well as a list of participants, a Russian diplomat said on Wednesday.

"Right now the most complicated issue is perhaps about a list of conference participants," Russian deputy foreign minister Gennady Gatilov was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies in Geneva.

"The entire issue is that unlike the government, the Syrian opposition has not decided in principle on the participation in the conference," he said, adding the Syrian opposition also could not agree on who exactly will represent it at the meeting.

That is why, Gatilov said, the conference could not take place in June because world powers had yet to agree "all the issues related to the format of the future meeting."

Gatilov spoke after Russian, US and UN diplomats gathered in Geneva earlier Wednesday to plan the conference aimed at ending the war that has left at least 94,000 dead.

"Various group wish to be represented separately and they have their own programs," added Gatilov, referring to Syrian rebels.

"Our partners, first and foremost Americans who work with the opposition, will have to work hard to convince the opposition to form a single delegation, otherwise several delegations would come to the conference."

© 2013 AFP

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