MOSCOW, November 3. /TASS/. Invitations to the Syrian Congress on National Dialogue, scheduled to be held in Russia’s Sochi on November 18, have been sent to all the opposition forces based in Syria and abroad, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said following talks with Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Secretary General Thomas Greminger on Friday.
"Invitations to the Congress have been sent to the government, as well as, I would like to stress that, to all of the opposition forces based in Syria and in other countries," he said. "It might actually be the first attempt to implement the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254, which stipulates that the global community should assist the Syrians in building an inclusive national dialogue," the Russian top diplomat added.
According to Lavrov, no such attempts have been made before. "The Geneva process, which has been stalled, involves only a limited number of persons, while all the Syrian forces are represented in the Astana process," he pointed out.
The Russian foreign minister also said that the initiative to convene such a congress suggested that efforts to facilitate the intra-Syrian dialogue should be accelerated. "Many of those invited have already confirmed their participation, including [Syrian] President [Bashar al-] Assad," Lavrov stressed. "This is why the Congress is expected to be quite representative," he said.