UNITED NATIONS, January 11. /TASS/. The official spokesperson for the UN Secretary General, Stephane Dujarric, has welcomed statements by the Russian side that the forthcoming Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi will be held as part of preparations for the pan-Syrian talks in Geneva and not as a counterbalance to them.
Along with it, Dujarric found it difficult to say whether the Secretary General’s special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura would go to Sochi.
"The decision has not yet been made," he said. "Decision will be made in due time. I think we very much welcome the statements that we've seen from the Russian representative here [Ambassador to the UN Vasily Nebenzya] that all this is being done in terms of coordination and in preparation for Geneva and not in competition with the Geneva process"
Announcement on the convocation of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi on January 29/30 was made at a conference of Syrian peace settlement guarantor nations in Astana, Kazakhstan, in December.
The Congress will consider a new strategy for the Syrian Constitution and elections under the UN umbrella on the basis of its provisions.
Ambassador Nebenzya told reporters on Tuesday the Congress did not mean an alternative to the Geneva process something the Syrian opposition felt apprehensive of. He described the goal of the forum as energizing the process continuing under the UN aegis in Geneva, aimed at political settlement in Syria.