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Delegates to Syria Peace Talks Heckle Russian Foreign Minister

31 January, 2018, 10:28 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • A Turkish Forces vehicles is driven past people watching at the Oncupinar border crossing with Syria known as Bab al Salameh in Arabic in the outskirts of the town of Kilis Monday Jan. 29 2018. Renewed clashes erupted on Monday on a strategic hillto

Turkey expects all parties at conflict in Syria to fulfill their responsibilities in finding a credible political settlement, the foreign ministry said in statement Tuesday following the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in the Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi.

A closing statement obtained by Reuters news agency said the participants agreed on "basic principles" deemed essential for bringing the country together and endorsed a "democratic" path for the country through elections. "Here we managed to gather under the same roof delegates of the Syrian government, parliamentarians, ruling party members, external opposition members, and tribal leaders, who play a very important role in Syria's public life", Russia's top diplomat said.

The conference suffered a further setback last morning when rebel representatives, who had flown in from Turkey the previous night, said they would not go further than Sochi airport because the conference logo featured only regime flags. The U.N.'s Special Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura, did however attend the Sochi congress.

Neil Hauer, an independent analyst focused on Russian Federation and Syria who was in Sochi for the congress, told AFP bringing the Kurds to their first major worldwide Syria summit would have been one of Moscow's primary goals.

As the talks got underway, rescue workers in the Syrian province of Idlib said that pro-government airstrikes on a marketplace had killed 15 people and wounded 33 more.

The Sochi event was cut back to one day instead of two and might mark the end of Russia's parallel track for Syrian peace talks, as United Nations envoy Staffan de Mistura's attendance was premised on Russian promises that it would be a "one-off" event.

The SNC accused Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his Russian backers of continuing to rely on military might and showing no willingness to enter into honest negotiations. Two-thirds will be chosen from supporters of Assad's government and one-third from the opposition.

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