Russia's Syria peace strategy in question

Russia's Syria peace strategy in question

According to the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, a decision was made during the congress to form a constitutional committee, comprising delegates elected during the congress, and also to include representatives of groups who were absent for various reasons.

Authorities from Syria's Kurdish autonomous region said at the weekend they would also boycott the event because of the ongoing Turkish offensive on the Kurdish enclave of Afrin.

A final statement said the Syrian National Dialogue Congress "affirmed respect and full commitment to the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Syria", according to the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency.

The participants agreed to launch the works of revising the country's Constitution, and asked the whole world to help Syria to recover from the civil war that lasted seven years.

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"This new structure - the constitutional committee for the preparation of the Syrian constitution - will operate in Geneva", Lavrov said, following the meeting. The talks were moderated by Russian Federation and Iran, on the side of Damascus, and Turkey, which aligns itself with several armed opposition groups.

The Syrian Negotiation Commission (SNC) which arrived from Ankara decided not to attend the congress when they saw the Syrian regime flag at the airport and the conference venue.

During the talks, Jaberi Ansari and the Syrian dissidents exchanged views on the subjects discussed during the Syrian National Dialogue Congress and explored ways to restore peace and security to the war-stricken Syria.

Almost 1,600 invitations had been sent out to a range of groups and individuals in a bid to give a voice to all the sides interested in a peaceful resolution of the Syrian crisis.

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