Zakharova: the absence of a number opposition in Syria in Congress in Sochi was a political mistake

MOSCOW, January 31. /TASS./ The Russian side considers it a political mistake to refuse the participation of a number of Syrian political opposition in Congress for national dialogue in Sochi. This was stated on Wednesday by the Director of the Department of information and press of the Russian foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova.

“We are convinced that this is a political mistake, but the atmosphere of the forum in Sochi, the refusal of these people are not marred, – said Zakharov. – Of course, I’m sorry about the position of those Syrian oppositionists who, for various reasons, including and primarily under the influence of external forces, decided – and did it at the last moment, to refrain from participating in the Congress.” “We tried to convince them to change their decision and even delayed the opening of the forum, but to no avail,” – said Zakharov.

“[Congress] expected the beginning of a broad inter-Syrian dialogue and, of course, an important step in restoring peace to Syria and to overcome the effects of a protracted and bloody crisis, – continued the official representative of the guardian. Solutions that were adopted in Sochi, will, we hope, the heritage of the inter-Syrian negotiation process under the auspices of the United Nations in Geneva and in other venues, primarily in Astana. We hope that this will lay a very important Foundation for moving forward, and it is important that this movement was really at higher speeds”.

“The voice of the participants of the Sochi forum, called for the speedy restoration of peace on the Syrian land, such reconstruction of the country, which would ensure quality coexistence of all components of the Syrian people, the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country, security and the rights of citizens must be heard”, – said Zakharov.

Members of Congress of the Syrian national dialogue in Sochi adopted a statement of 12 points, which outlines the views of the Syrians in the future of their country. It notes that Syria needs to maintain the sovereignty and territorial integrity, and its future can be determined only by the Syrian people through elections. The Syrians also appealed to the UN Secretary-General antónio Guterres with a request to assist in the organization of work of the constitutional Commission, whose mandate will be defined in the framework of the Geneva process.

According to the organizers, the Sochi forum was attended 1511 delegates representing all segments of Syrian community. Ethnic composition the majority of the participants – the Arabs (94,5%), but among those invited were the Kurds, Yazidis, Assyrians, Armenians, Circassians, Chechens, Dagestanis, Abkhazians, Turkomans and Druze. To participate as observers were invited to all the major regional and international external actors. One of the objectives of the forum was the establishment of a Commission for drafting a new Constitution of Syria.