Syria says will attend peace conference in Russia’s Sochi
Syria has welcomed the Syrian National Dialogue Congress to be held in the Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi aimed at resolving the years-long crisis in the Arab country, affirming Damascus will attend the event.
An official source at Syria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates made the remarks in a statement carried by Syria’s official news agency SANA on Sunday, adding that the consecutive victories achieved by the Syrian Arab Army and its allies, including Russia, in the past months had paved the way for the political track and intra-Syrian dialogue.
Elsewhere in the statement, the Syrian official added that Damascus would also welcome the agreements reached in the congress, which includes a committee for discussing the current constitution.
The source went on to say that the committee would also discuss holding legislative elections afterward with the involvement of the United Nations and based on the UN Charter, which stipulates that the sovereignty of states and the peoples’ right to self-determination must be respected.
On November 22, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his Russian and Turkish counterparts met in Sochi. They agreed to hold the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in the Russian city aimed at bringing to the table both the Syrian government and various opposition groups willing to enter into peace talks with Damascus.
The all-Syrian congress would involve drawing up a framework for Syria’s future structure, adopting a new constitution and holding elections under the UN supervision, Putin said at the time.
The three countries joined efforts in late 2016 with the aim of returning peace to Syria. Russia and Iran were allied with the Damascus government, while Turkey supported the anti-Damascus front. Since then, the three neighboring counties have taken successful strides on the path to peace, mediating talks between the Syrian government and the foreign-backed opposition.
The talks have led to the establishment of four de-escalation zones across Syria with Turkey, Iran and Russia playing the role of the guarantors of a ceasefire that took effect in Syria late last year.
Seven previous rounds of UN-backed peace negotiations between the representatives of the Syrian government and delegates from foreign-sponsored armed opposition have failed to produce concrete results.
A new UN-backed round of talks is scheduled to be held from November 28, with the UN special envoy on Syria, Staffan de Mistura, heading them.