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Syrian Opposition Factions Reject Sochi Congress

Syrian Opposition Factions Reject Sochi Congress

Wednesday, 27 December, 2017 - 07:15
A Syrian woman walks past damaged buildings in Douma, in the eastern Damascus suburb of Ghouta, Syria November 15, 2017. (Reuters)

Syrian opposition factions have rejected the congress that Russia intends to host in the city of Sochi in January.

They said that Moscow was seeking to bypass a UN-based Geneva peace process and blaming Russia for committing war crimes in the war-torn country, reported Reuters.

In a statement by around 40 rebel groups, including some of the military factions who participated in earlier rounds of Geneva peace talks, they said Moscow had not put pressure on the Syrian regime to reach a political settlement.

“Russia has not contributed one step to easing the suffering of Syrians and has not pressured the regime that it claims it is a guarantor by move in any real path towards a solution,” the rebel statement said.

Some rebels said they had not yet made up their mind.

The talks are scheduled for January 29-30 in Sochi, and were announced after talks among Russia and Iran, which back the regime, and Turkey, which supports the opposition.

The opposition National Coordination Committee issued a statement on Tuesday, rejecting the invitation to attend the Sochi talks.

It said that any unilateral course adopted by a single state undermines and violates the international course and will not resolve the Syrian crisis.

UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura said that Russia’s plan to convene the congress should be assessed by its ability to contribute to and support the UN-led Geneva talks on ending the war in Syria.

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