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在线翻译:
szdaily -> World
Syria congress begins in Russia but key players absent
    2018-January-31  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

RUSSIA’S showpiece congress aimed at bringing Syria’s seven-year war closer to an end went ahead yesterday, despite the country’s main opposition group and Kurdish minority saying they would boycott the event.

Regime-backer Moscow has invited 1,600 delegates to the meeting in the Black Sea resort of Sochi as part of a broader push to consolidate its influence in the Middle East and start hammering out a political solution to the conflict.

The main aim of the talks starting at 10 a.m. (0700 GMT) will be to establish a committee to create a post-war constitution for Syria with U.N.-backing, according to a draft statement.

Moscow said Syrian society will be fully represented at the meeting — the first of its kind held in Russia — but almost all confirmed delegates are from either President Bashar al-Assad’s ruling Baath Party, allied movements or the regime’s “tolerated opposition.”

The Syrian Negotiation Commission (SNC), the country’s main opposition group, said following two days of U.N.-led talks in Vienna last week that it would not attend the Sochi congress.

The SNC accused Assad and his Russian backers of continuing to rely on military might and showing no willingness to enter into honest negotiations.

Authorities from Syria’s Kurdish autonomous region said over the weekend they would also boycott the event because of the ongoing Turkish offensive on the Kurdish enclave of Afrin.

Clashes and air strikes again hit Syria’s border region of Afrin on Monday, with new civilian casualties reported as Turkey pursued an offensive against Kurdish forces.

Turkey, which supports Syrian rebels vying for Assad’s ouster, is co-sponsoring the congress along with regime-backer Iran.

However members of both the opposition and Kurdish groups will come to the talks as individuals, the Kremlin’s special envoy on the Syria peace process Alexander Lavrentiev said.

More than three dozen other Syrian rebel groups had previously said they would not take part in the Sochi talks.

(SD-Agencies)

 

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