No sign of Russia ditching Syrian ally

Annan Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the Arab League for Syria speaks with Russian FM Lavrov Photo: Reuters

A conference of the major world powers has adopted a peace plan for Syria, but it's unlikely to stop the killing in the country any time soon.

The plan, hammered out at a meeting in Geneva, would include a transitional government - though there's no explicit guidance on whether President Assad would have to step down.

Russia has until now opposed this.

At its core, the US and Russia continue to clash over what to do with President Assad. Foreign Secretary William Hague warned that failure in Syria would cause "catastrophe". Russia on the other hand would not 'budge', insisting that any government in Syria should be formed by "mutual consent".

The Syrian conference ended with the same stalemate as it began with, but the United Nations dressed the meeting up as a "success".

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