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Syrian Negotiations Committee skips Sochi Congress - al-Hariri

Earlier 26 out of 36 members of Committee voted against participation

VIENNA, January 27. /TASS/. The Syrian Negotiations Committee will not participate in the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi, the organization’s leader Nasr al-Hariri said after intra-Syrian talks in Vienna.

"In a free and transparent voting we have come to the decision the Committee will not participate in the Sochi conference," he said on Saturday. "We hope, the congress in Sochi will be very useful if it favors implementation of the UN SC’s resolution 2254, we shall hail it."

The vote took place late on Friday. According to sources familiar with the situation, 26 out of 36 members voted against participation, which is sufficient to take the decision.

The Negotiations Committee’s representative Firas al-Khaldi confirmed to TASS the information to boycott the Sochi meeting is true. Qadri Jamil, the chairman of the Moscow group of the Syrian opposition, told TASS that four members of the Moscow Group had voted for the committee’s participation in the Congress, as well as four members of the Cairo Group and two independent members.

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. The event will feature about 1,500 participants, representing different political forces in Syria. The participants will discuss a new Syrian constitution and preparations for the UN-sponsored elections.