Russia: Syrian National Congress gathers in Sochi for Syrian to Syrian peace talks

Members partaking in the Syrian National Congress thanked Russia for organising the peace conference in Sochi, Sunday night. The Syrian National Dialogue Congress is set take place between January 29 and 30. Around 1,600 delegates representing the entire spectrum of Syria's political, civil and ethno-confessional forces have been invited to participate in the congress. More than 1,300 people... Еще from Syria are set to attend the congress, including representatives of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party and the National Progressive Front. Representatives of the internal opposition from Damascus have already arrived to Sochi. 300 members of the external opposition will also reportedly participate, including the 'Moscow Platform,' 'Astana Platform' and 'Syria's Tomorrow Movement.' A special group of the so-called 'reconciled' illegal armed groups are also expected to participate in the congress. The Russian delegation will be led by the Russian President's Special Envoy to Syria Alexander Lavrentiev. The UN delegation will be led by the UN Special Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura, who has earlier expressed hopes that the congress would help revive the Geneva peace talks on Syria. Washington has not yet responded to Moscow's invitation to the congress, although the US embassy has confirmed that the invitation had been received. The initiative to hold the congress was announced at a December meeting of the Syrian ceasefire guarantor nations, including Russia, Iran and Turkey.

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