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United Nations envoy for Syria to attend Russia-sponsored talks in Sochi
February 21 2018, 05:34 | Irvin Gilbert
UN-sponsored peace talks on Syria will be held in Vienna on Thursday and Friday
Hariri said the opposition would decide over the next two days whether it will attend the Sochi meeting, telling reporters in Vienna he was still lacking information on the Russian-led initiative.
"The ultimate goal of a constitutional process is to enable the Syrian people to freely and independently determine their own future in a United Nations -supervised parliamentary and presidential elections meeting the requirements laid out in resolution 2254", de Mistura said.
The UN embarked on fresh efforts on Thursday to jump-start Syrian peace talks that Western countries and the opposition fear are being undermined by a separate Russian diplomatic push. Turkey, which has aided Syrian opposition forces, cooperated with Russian Federation for the peace conference.
Head of the Syrian Arab Republic's delegation to Vienna Dr. Bashar al-Jaafari said that the United States claims to be interested in a political solution to the crisis in Syria despite the fact that it continues to fight on the ground in favor of ISIL which is its own creation.
Syrian government forces are pursuing offensives against two remaining rebel pockets, Idlib in the northwest and eastern Ghouta near Damascus.
As with eight previous rounds of failed UN-backed talks in Geneva, there was no sign that the warring sides had met face to face at discussions meant to lay the groundwork for a new post-war constitution. And we didn't see this commitment.
"All external supporters of the political process should encourage the opposition and government delegations to engage genuinely in the talks, focus squarely on these topics and, at least initially, set aside other issues", it said.
"The goal of the conference in Sochi is to engage in a national intra-Syrian dialogue without foreign interference".
"In the context of preparations for the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi on January 29-30, 2018, the ministers shared views on final aspects of organizing and holding the given event", it says.
The opposition scheduled a news conference for 0900 GMT on Saturday.