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Monday, November 6, 2017
Erdoganís representative says Russia postpones Congress of Syrian National Dialogue

Erdoganís representative says Russia postpones Congress of Syrian National
Dialogue
In early November, Erdoganís advisor said Turkey considered unacceptable the
invitation for Democratic Union to participate in the event due in Sochi
http://tass.com/world/974269

ANKARA, November 5. 2017/TASS/. Russia decided to postpone the Congress of
the Syrian National Dialogue after talks with Turkey, special advisor to the
Turkish president Ibrahim Kalin said on Sunday, the Haberturk television
channel reports.

According to him, "Turkey expressed objections" and thus "the Kremlin
communicated Ankara to announce this meeting is postponed."

"Our contacts with Russia continue," Kalin said. "Our president also
continues discussing the topic. Russia has postponed the Congress of the
Syrian National Dialogue, representatives of the Syrian Kurdish party
Democratic Union will not participate in it."

In early November, Erdoganís advisor said Turkey considered unacceptable the
invitation for Democratic Union to participate in the event due in Sochi.
Ankara considers it a branch of the Kurdistan Workersí Party, which
continues armed confrontation with the Turkish authorities and which Turkey
considers a terrorist organization.

On November 2, Russian Special Presidential Envoy for the Middle East and
Africa, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov told reporters that a
number of aspects concerning the upcoming Congress on National Dialogue,
planned to be held in Russiaís Black Sea resort of Sochi, had not been fixed
and needed to be discussed with Russiaís partners in the Astana and Geneva
processes.

On October 31, the Russian Foreign Ministry said about invitations to 33
organizations to participate in the Congress. Those organizations include
the oppositionís groups in Damascus, Cairo, Riyadh, Istanbul, Paris, Geneva
and Madrid. "Invitations to the Congress have been sent to the government,
as well as, I would like to stress that, to all of the opposition forces
based in Syria and in other countries," Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
"It might actually be the first attempt to implement the United Nations
Security Council Resolution 2254, which stipulates that the global community
should assist the Syrians in building an inclusive national dialogue."
According to Lavrov, no such attempts have been made before. "The Geneva
process, which has been stalled, involves only a limited number of persons,
while all the Syrian forces are represented in the Astana process," he
pointed out. The Russian foreign minister also said that the initiative to
convene such a congress suggested that efforts to facilitate the
intra-Syrian dialogue should be accelerated. "Many of those invited have
already confirmed their participation, including [Syrian] President [Bashar
al-] Assad," Lavrov stressed. "This is why the Congress is expected to be
quite representative," he said.

Two key unions of the Syrian opposition abroad have refused from
participating in the event: the National Coalition for Syrian Revolution and
Opposition Forces, and the High Negotiations Committee (the Riyadh group),
which participates in the UN-led Geneva discussions.

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