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Iranian Diplomat, Syrian Dissidents Meet in Sochi
01 February 2018, 12:53 | Damon Campbell
Russian-backed peace talks endorse future path for Syria, but opposition and Kurds stay away
The Russian president's special envoy for Syria, Alexander Lavrentyev, said that a total of 11 members of the Syrian opposition's Riyadh group took part in the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi on special invitations.
The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey's rights based on global law, UN Security Council resolutions, its self-defense rights under the UN charter, and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, it said.
He said: "The main result of this Congress is the reloading of the political process, so it could really help Staffan de Mistura to find a rational element in order to prelaunch the constitutional reform".
Moscow said Syrian society will be fully represented at the meeting - the first of its kind held in Russian Federation - but nearly all confirmed delegates are from either President Bashar al-Assad's ruling Baath Party, allied movements or the regime's "tolerated opposition".
Syria's major opposition groups, who boycotted the event, rejected the proposal. Along with Turkey and Iran, it is pursuing its own peace process for Syria while the United Nations backs a separate plan.
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The Syrian Negotiation Commission (SNC) which arrived from Ankara decided not to attend the congress when they saw the Syrian regime flag at the airport and the conference venue.
According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey's borders and the region as well as to protect the Syrian people from terrorist oppression and cruelty. It calls for Syria's self-determination without foreign intervention and setting up a constitutional committee of government and opposition forces.
"This new structure - the constitutional committee for the preparation of the Syrian constitution - will operate in Geneva", Lavrov said, according to Sputnik.
"The heads of state welcomed the outcome of the January 30 Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi".
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