Syria govt to take part in peace conference

May 24, 2013

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

Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in televised remarks on Friday 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 are opposed to Assad's representatives taking part.

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.