Published: Sat, January 27, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Syria opposition says will boycott Sochi talks in Russia

Syria opposition says will boycott Sochi talks in Russia

He says he has taken note of the statement by the Russian Federation that the outcome of the congress would be presented as a contribution to the United Nations -brokered intra-Syrian talks in Geneva.

Meanwhile, Syria's foreign-backed main opposition group has refused to attend the Russia-brokered peace talks in Sochi.

The previous attempts stumbled in particular over the fate of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, with the government delegation refusing to meet the opposition face-to-face until they drop demands that he leaves office.

"Then it will be up to him to take the decision what will be the U.N. response to the invitation to attend Sochi", U.N. Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said in a statement to reporters.

Assad appears unassailable in the conflict thanks to direct military intervention by Iran and Russian Federation, which is now seen as the pivotal foreign power in the war and is due to host a Syrian peace congress in Sochi next week.

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The Arab lawmakers were escorted from the chamber by Knesset ushers after they attempted to disrupt the vice president's speech. She played down the timing of the vice president's visit to Israel when Abbas was in Brussels , saying it was a coincidence.

On the same day, Ankara blocked the participation of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), following the escalation of tensions between the Kurdish militia in northern Syria and the Turkish government.

Few expect a breakthrough at these two-days talks aimed at addressing issues related to a new constitution, but de Mistura, has continued to express optimism. [The parties] have touched upon the preparation for the forthcoming Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi on January 29-30 and its possible outcome.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Wednesday there was no sign of a political solution for Syria other than the Vienna talks and they were the "last hope".

"The United Nations has to be put back in the middle of the game".

The Vienna talks were also marked by anger from the regime over a leaked set of political proposals from the United States, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Britain and France that would involve strengthening the role of Syria's prime minister - at the expense of Assad's authority. According to Jaafari, it undermines the Geneva process and Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi.

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