MOSCOW, January 27. /TASS/. Chairman of the Russian Federation Council (upper house of parliament) Foreign Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachev regrets the Syrian opposition’s negotiations committee’s decision to reject invitation to the Syrian National Dialogue Congress due in Sochi on January 29-30.
"I deeply regret it," Kosachev told TASS on Saturday. "The Congress provides a real chance to advance in bringing various forces closer together in order to implement the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254," he added.
The vote took place late on Friday. According to sources familiar with the situation, 26 out of 36 members voted against participation, which is enough to make a decision.
The committee’s head Nasr al-Hariri is expected to announce the decision at a press conference later on Saturday.
The guarantors of the Syrian ceasefire - Russia, Iran and Turkey - announced at a meeting held in Kazakhstan’s capital of Astana in December 2017 that the Syrian National Dialogue Congress would take place in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi on January 29-30. Participants are expected to work out a new Syrian constitution and discuss preparations for the UN-sponsored elections.
In the beginning of the week, Kosachev held a meeting with al-Hariri, saying that he planned to take part in the Sochi Congress and would be happy to see the committee’s delegation there. The senator also said that it would only be possible to find a sustainable solution to the Syria issue when its conditions were outlined and agreed on by all the participants in the process, "except for those who openly support terrorist ideas.".