- The Washington Times - Friday, May 24, 2013

Russian ministers said Friday that Syria has agreed to join a Russia-U.S. peace conference and talk about the besieged government’s future — but the agreement was laced with conditions.

Specifically, Syria’s “agreed in principle” to the conference, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevic said, in The Associated Press. But Syria has yet to name a spokesperson for the rebels, and conference attendees have yet to agree on the role of the rebel spokesperson. So the conference date hasn’t been set, AP said.

It’s impossible to set a conference date, Mr. Lukashevich said, in the AP report, because “there’s no clarity about who will speak on behalf of the opposition and what powers they will have.”

The peace conference already has a significant stumbling block. Opposition forces don’t want President Bashar Assad’s people to participate. Moreover, Mr. Assad has already made clear he’s not leaving office, no matter how long the fighting continues.

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