UNITED NATIONS, January 25./TASS/. Syria has remained a sovereign state, and a peace settlement of the conflict under UN auspices has begun, Russian UN Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya told a session of the UN Security Council on Thursday.
"Due to a decisive role of the Russian Aerospace Troops, the government forces have cleansed the country of gunmen from the terrorist group IS [Islamic State, outlawed in Russia]," the Russian permanent representative said.
"Syria has kept its sovereignty as a state, conditions have been created for the return of refugees and internally displaced persons, a political settlement of the crisis has begun under UN auspices," he went on to say.
The Russian diplomat said the Syrian National Dialogue Congress, due in Russia’s Sochi on January 29-30, will contribute to the settlement. Nebenzya said Moscow expects the forum to "give a new impetus to the Geneva process".
Around 1,500 participants representing various Syrian political forces are expected to take part in the event. The forum will focus on the development of a new Syrian constitution and holding of a UN-supported election based on it.