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Syria Peace Conference Possible in Early June

The date of a proposed international conference to end Syria's civil war will likely "slip" back from late May to early June, a U.S. State Department spokeswoman said.

"As you know, there are many different players, many different countries involved here. It looks like it will slip past that to possibly early June. I don't have an exact date at this point," spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters Monday in Washington, according to an online transcript.

The U.S. and Russia announced last week that they would try to arrange an international conference, including anti-government rebels and President Bashar Assad, to end the two-year civil war that is estimated to have killed more than 70,000 people.

But the proposal has reportedly already hit snags, with a senior Kremlin official saying that there is disagreement over who should represent the Syrian opposition, Reuters reported Saturday.

Sixty-five years ago today, on May 14, 1948, Israel was declared an independent state when David Ben-Gurion, who was born in the Russian Empire and became Israel's first prime minister, read a declaration of independence at a ceremony at the Tel Aviv Museum. Israel's current prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, was expected in Russia on Tuesday for urgent talks with President Vladimir Putin on Syria.

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