Lavrov: Preparations underway for Syrian National Dialogue Congress

Baku, SANA – Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday that preparations continue to hold the Syrian Congress on National Dialogue in the Russian Sochi city next month.

In a press conference with his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Muhammad-Yarov in the Azerbaijani capital of Baku, Lavrov pointed out that he discussed on Sunday with the foreign ministers of the guarantors of the Astana process in Antalya city everything related to the Congress and prepared some ideas to be discussed by the presidents of the three countries during their summit in Sochi on Wednesday to decide how to build on these ideas.

Regarding the parties to be invited to the Congress, Lavrov said that the invitations are based on the UN resolutions that were affirmed at Geneva talks and included in the documents of Astana talks that stress on holding a comprehensive Syrian-Syrian dialogue with representatives of the Syrian government and the widest spectra of the opposition.

He pointed out that Astana talks were a qualitative step towards creating the conditions for this dialogue, during which representatives of the armed opposition have participated for the first time, and not representatives of the opposition living in Europe, which set up forums that are supposed to push for the settlement, but instead adopt unacceptable methods that violate the principles of the UNSC resolutions.

Lavrov added that this is the main change brought by the Astana process, including the establishment of de-escalation zones and dialogue among opposition groups, referring to efforts aimed at establishing channels of national reconciliation in these areas. Said

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