Syria offensive makes peace conference more difficult: Hague

Last Updated: Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 00:27

United Nations: A renewed Syrian government offensive against opposition forces is harming the chances of holding a peace conference on the conflict, Britain`s Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Monday.
Hague said the conflict would worsen but reaffirmed that Britain has not yet made a decision on whether to send arms to the Syrian opposition.

He called for new efforts to bring President Bashar al-Assad`s regime to the negotiating table with opposition rebels.

Russia and the United States agreed last month to press for a follow-up to a Geneva conference held one year ago which set out a plan for a transitional government.

But divisions between the opposition and between the international powers over the 25-month-old conflict are so wide now that many diplomats doubt that a meeting will ever be held.

"What is being done now by the regime who have embarked on fresh military offensives since it was agreed that we would have a second Geneva conference is not helping to bring that about," Hague told reporters on the sidelines of a UN Security Council meeting he chaired.

"It places the opposition in a more difficult situation since to go to Geneva while such offensives are being conducted against them obviously is more difficult for them," he added.

"But we must not give up at all on trying to bring such a conference together. There has to be a political solution."

Hague arrived in New York from a meeting of the Friends of Syria group in Doha which agreed on Saturday to step up aid to the Syrian opposition.

He said the British parliament would debate any decision to send arms to the rebels. "We believe that the Syrian crisis is on a trajectory to get even worse," Hague warned.

AFP



First Published: Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 00:27

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