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Syrian Opposition Body Discusses Sochi Meeting in Riyadh

Syrian Opposition Body Discusses Sochi Meeting in Riyadh

Tuesday, 2 January, 2018 - 13:15
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and UN special envoy on Syria Staffan de Mistura enter a hall during a meeting in Moscow, Russia December 21, 2017.

A meeting will be held early next week in the Saudi capital Riyadh to discuss administrative and technical arrangements related to the future of Syria’s political and military solutions, in addition to discussing the international resolutions that will be issued and affect the Syrian issue, spokesman for the opposition Syrian National Commission Dr. Yahya Aridi said.

The upcoming meeting, which will be held on January 6, will address solutions to problems inhibiting the Sochi conference, Aridi told Asharq Al-Awsat.

The Kremlin hopes to convene a political congress in the Black Sea resort of Sochi which would bring together regime officials and the opposition to reinvigorate a hobbled peace process.

Aridi pointed out that delegations from the negotiating body will go to the European Union to put points on the characters of the future political benefits.

He said the meeting held between Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir and Dr. Nasr Al-Hariri, head of the Syrian Opposition Negotiations Committee recently in Riyadh, encompassed developments in the eighth round of the Syrian Geneva talks, in addition to in-depth discussions on international positions on the Syrian issue.

Aridi said that in the meeting, Saudi Arabia displayed full commitment to the Syrian issue.

Aridi asked about recent Russian statements concerning the Sochi Conference and whether it would differ from the negotiations in Geneva, stressing the need for the Sochi Conference to reinforce outcomes of the Geneva negotiations.

He pointed out that any Syrian-Syrian dialogue outside the country and in a non-neutral country like Russia cannot be accepted; stressing that Russia has declared publicly that it is a protector of the Syrian regime.

The official spokesman said that recent Russian statements do not benefit Syria’s cause, pointing out that it shows the lack of understanding of conditions in Syria and the nature of both the conflict and solution.

The eighth Geneva round was held between November 28 and December 15, without witnessing any progress.

UN envoy Staffan de Mistura accused the regime of failing the talks because of its preconditions, which led to the loss of a golden opportunity to set talks on the track of progress.

Syrian opposition factions refused to participate in the recent Astana meetings, and Turkey objected to the participation of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party.

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