Syria congress begins in Russian Federation but key players absent
01 February, 2018, 00:51 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
According to Russia'sspecial envoy for SyriaAlexander Lavrentyev, participants of the congress agreed on a list of 150 candidacies for the constitutional committee.
Sochi hosted talks between the Syrian government and the opposition in the hope of paving the way for a peaceful settlement of the seven-year conflict gripping Syria.
De Mistura said the final agreement on the committee would be reached in the UN-led diplomatic process in Geneva based on UN Security Council Resolution 2254 - which serves as a framework for political transition in Syria.
The Syrian National Dialogue Congress kicked off in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi on Tuesday.
Ankara also blocked the participation of the main Kurdish group, which itself said it would not attend in protest against the unrelenting Turkish offensive launched against the enclave of Afrin in northwest Syria. They included Syrian government representatives backed by Russian Federation and Iran, and groups opposed to President Bashar al-Assad backed by Turkey.
Turkey will instead represent the opposition groups at the conference sponsored by Russia, Iran and Turkey, Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reported, citing unnamed sources.
In the meeting held in Russia'sSochi on Tuesday on the sidelines of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress, the two sides held talks on the process of the congress and the future plans of the United Nations envoy for the Arab country.
"We believe. that the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi will be able to create conditions for staging fruitful Geneva talks, taking into consideration that the part of the Syrian opposition that constantly makes preconditions, including for regime change, will be talked into sense by those who control it", Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said earlier in January.
Seen as a new platform for direct dialogue with the aim to address the Syrian crisis, the Syrian National Dialogue Congress was aimed at facilitating negotiations between all segments of the Syrian society, including its political and civil powers as well as ethnic, religious and social groups.
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