As UN-sponsored talks fail, Syrian opposition to boycott Sochi meeting
"I share the immense frustration of millions of Syrians inside and outside the country at the lack of a political settlement to date," said UN’s Staffan De Mistura. United States and Saudi Arabia boycott meeting.
Vienna (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The opposition Syrian Negotiations Commission, which includes many groups opposed to President Bashar Assad, will boycott peace talks set for Sochi (Russia) on 29 and 30 January. The meeting is backed by Russia, Turkey and Iran.
The decision was announced last night, at the end of two days of UN-sponsored peace talks in Vienna that led to nothing concrete.
UN special envoy Staffan De Mistura spoke to reporters this morning acknowledging the hitherto disheartening lack of progress in finding a solution for a war that has killed more than 340,000 people and generated millions of refugees within and outside the country.
"I share the immense frustration of millions of Syrians inside and outside the country at the lack of a political settlement to date," De Mistura said.
As in seven other UN-sponsored meetings, no direct talks were held between the government and the opposition and no plan for a post-war constitution was worked out.
Whilst noting that a peace solution must emerge from the UN talks, De Mistura’s view about the talks in Russia is positive.
“I hope that the forthcoming Syrian national dialogue congress in Sochi will contribute to a revived and credible intra-Syrian process under the UN in Geneva," he said.
However, the United States and Saudi Arabia have boycotted the peace initiative in Sochi. Both want to limit Russian influence in the Middle East and refuse to guarantee Bashar al-Assad’s future in Syria.
For his part, Syrian government chief negotiator in Vienna Bashar al-Jaafari said that the United States “created ISIS” (Islamic State), and Saudi Arabia is anything but a “beacon of freedom in the East”.