UN welcomes Russia’s Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi
The UN welcomed statements by the Russian side that the forthcoming Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi will be held as part of preparations for the pan-Syrian talks in Geneva and not as a counterbalance to them, the official spokesperson for the UN Secretary General Stephane Dujarric said.
Along with it, Dujarric found it difficult to say whether the Secretary General’s special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura would go to Sochi.
"The decision has not yet been made. Decision will be made in due time. I think we very much welcome the statements that we've seen from the Russian representative here [Ambassador to the UN Vasily Nebenzya] that all this is being done in terms of coordination and in preparation for Geneva and not in competition with the Geneva process," TASS cited him as saying.
Ambassador Nebenzya said earlier that the Congress did not mean an alternative to the Geneva process something the Syrian opposition felt apprehensive of. He described the goal of the forum as energizing the process continuing under the UN aegis in Geneva, aimed at political settlement in Syria.