ソチでシリア国民対話会議始まる: ずくなしの冷や水

2018年01月31日

ソチでシリア国民対話会議始まる

ロシアの力の入れ方、並大抵ではありません。

さて、会議の司会、議長は?

FARSNEWS2018/1/30
Congress of National Dialogue on Syria Crisis Kicks off in Russia's Sochi
TEHRAN (FNA)- A new round of peace talks between the Syrian government and the opposition to solve the country's crisis officially kicked off in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi on Tuesday.

The Congress of National Dialogue on Syria crisis kicked off in Sochi on Tuesday, SANA reported, adding that almost 1500 persons representing spectrums of the Syrian society and people from foreign oppositions have participated in the event.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on the sideline of the congress opening that the Syrian people are the only ones who have the right to self-determination.

He added that Syria, backed by Russian Air Force, managed to destroy the terrorists, emphasizing that now there are all appropriate conditions for ending the crisis

The Russian Diplomat stressed that the Sochi Congress is a unique event since it represents different segments of Syrian society.

Reports said on Monday that United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura will be attending the Congress of National Dialog along with some 1,600 people representing a wide range of Syria's political forces.

However, Saudi-backed opposition group, the Syrian Negotiation Commission, has boycotted the talks.

Moscow said on Monday the absence of some representatives of the Syrian opposition will not be a serious setback for the conference.

"The fact that some representatives of the processes currently ongoing in Syria are not participating is unlikely to stop this congress from going ahead and can not seriously sabotage it," Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday.

Ankara has opposed the contribution of the Syrian Kurds to the initiative since it was launched last year.

Turkey says the Kurdish militants, who enjoy support from US and other Western governments, are an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) which has led a decades-long insurgency against the Turks.

The talks in Sochi on Monday and Tuesday are sponsored by Russia, Iran and Turkey.

Russia, Iran and Turkey hope the talks could compensate for the lack of progress in UN-brokered talks to end Syria's seven-year war.

The three countries have coordinated the establishment of de-escalation zones in Syria - a separate initiative which many say has helped drastically reduce fighting in the Arab country.

On January 26, the ninth round of UN-brokered indirect peace negotiations between the Syrian government and opposition groups was held in the Austrian capital city of Vienna.

The UN talks have so far failed to achieve any concrete results, mainly due to the opposition’s insistence that the Syrian government cede power.

Syria’s main Kurdish militant group has announced that it will boycott upcoming peace talks in Russia over a military incursion by Turkey into territories held by Kurds in northern Syria.

Fawza al-Yussef, an official in Syria's Kurdish region, said delegates from the enclave will not attend talks in Sochi next week only due to Turkey’s offensive against Afrin, a Kurdish city in the Syrian province of Aleppo.

“We said before that if the situation remained the same in Afrin we could not attend Sochi,” said Yussef, adding that the operation in Afrin “contradicts the principle of political dialogue.”


RT2018/1/29
Paving way for Syrian peace: Sochi hosts National Dialogue Congress, hoped to boost Geneva talks
Sochi is hosting a forum on Syria’s future, bringing together representatives of the country’s various social strata. The Congress is expected to boost the peace process and kick-start efforts to draft a new constitution.

The Syrian National Dialogue Congress is to start in the Russian resort city of Sochi on Monday. The event is expected to last for two days, the main negotiations taking place on Tuesday.

The Congress is sponsored by Russia, Turkey and Iran, the leaders of the three countries having agreed to the all-Syrian Congress in November. The main goal of the meeting is to gather “delegates from various political parties, internal and external opposition, ethnic and confessional groups at the negotiating table,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the time.

Over 1,500 delegates, representing various groups of Syrian society, have been invited to participate in the talks. The aim is to lay the foundation for a peaceful future for the war-torn country; the delegates are expected to begin work on a new constitution and discuss reconciliation in Syria.

It will be a landmark event, the first to give voice to so many different groups from Syrian society, including the government and the opposition. While instant reconciliation is unlikely the Congress will get the ball rolling, the Kremlin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.

“The work that is going on is extremely complex and thorny. But holding the congress itself is a significant step towards a political solution,” Peskov stated. “One should not expect that the political reconciliation will be achieved in Sochi.”
Sochi Congress to revitalize Geneva talks

The Congress in Sochi is not designed to replace, but rather to boost the Syrian peace process, namely the UN-sponsored Geneva talks, which have stalled for years, largely due to the insistence of some Syrian opposition representatives upon unrealistic preconditions before engaging in talks with the country’s government.

“We believe... that the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi will be able to create conditions for staging fruitful Geneva talks, taking into consideration that the part of the Syrian opposition that constantly makes preconditions, including for regime change, will be talked into sense by those who control it,” Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said earlier in January.

Partial opposition boycott & UN approval

The Saudi Arabia-based High Negotiations Committee (HNC), an umbrella body created back in 2016 to represent some of the Syrian rebel groups at the Geneva talks, has decided to boycott the Congress, just days before its launch. The group claimed it was supporting “credible political transition” in the Geneva format instead.

The HNC, however, has not demonstrated unity in boycotting the Sochi congress as part of the group, namely the so-called Moscow and Cairo opposition platforms, voted to attend the event and are expected to take part.

The decision to boycott was allegedly supported by 24 members of HNC, while 26 votes were needed for a decisive result, the leader of the Moscow platform, Qadri Jamil, told TASS on Saturday. The participation of some HNC members is therefore possible and would not violate the decision, according to Jamil, although they will not represent the group as a whole.

While the decision of the HNC is unlikely to harm the Congress, it definitely harmed the opposition body itself, which will now miss the chance to be heard at a large international meeting, a source in Russia’s Foreign Ministry told TASS on Saturday.

“No, it won’t affect [the Congress]. We’ve invited everyone eager to participate, who doesn’t want to does not participate. The Congress will be held without them, unfortunately, and that’s all,” the diplomatic source said.

Despite the claims of parts of the Syrian opposition that the Sochi Congress would somehow jeopardize the international peace process, it was embraced by the main sponsor of the Geneva talks – the UN. The Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, will take part in the Congress after accepting Moscow’s invitation days before the event.

“The Secretary-General is confident that the Congress in Sochi will be an important contribution to a revived intra-Syrian talks process under the auspices of the United Nations in Geneva, based on the full implementation of the Geneva Communiqué (2012) and Security Council resolution 2254 (2015),” spokesman for the UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in a statement on Friday.
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