Syria: June peace conference in jeopardy

Dismay and disarray have reigned over the meeting between members of Syria’s opposition groups in Turkey. Representatives of the National Coalition could not agree on who should represent them at a US-Russia organised peace conference pencilled for June. The revolutionary Movement in Syria released a statement from inside the country saying,“there is no doubt that the Coalition’s leadership has failed to fulfil its responsibility to represent the great Syrian people’s revolution.” In other developments, the UN Human Rights Council is meeting in Geneva to consider a resolution on human rights violations by the Syrian government and the use of foreign combatants in Qusair. The UN action has further soured US-Russian relations over Syria as Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov criticised the decision: “To my great surprise one supporter of this resolution other than Qatar and Turkey is the United States. The delegation of the United States is actively pushing for this unhelpful scheme.” He said that the resolution could undermine their efforts to hold a joint conference in June to resolve the two-year conflict. International tensions over Syria have risen in recent days after an EU arms embargo expired on Monday. In response, Russia said it would deliver anti-aircraft missiles to Damascus, further jeopardising the prospect of a peaceful solution to the conflict.