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  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks during the second day of the Sochi peace talks on Syria.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks during the second day of the Sochi peace talks on Syria. | Photo: Reuters

Published 30 January 2018

Randa Kassis, a representative of the opposition platform, said those who disparage the Sochi talks “don’t really want peace in Syria."

Syrian government and opposition peace negotiations have entered their second and final day in the Russian resort city of Sochi. Participants in the talks aim to reach a peaceful settlement to the deadly conflict which has gripped the Arab state for almost seven years.

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Moderated by Russia and Iran, in favor of Damascus, and Turkey, which supports a number of armed opposition groups, the Syrian Congress of National Dialogue kicked off on Monday and carried on until today, according to PressTV.

The current dialogue is a segue from multiple peace negotiations between the Syrian government and opposition, which took place in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, last year. Those talks took place following a ceasefire brokered in Syria's second largest city of Aleppo by guarantor states.

Four de-escalation zones were then established throughout Syria, which was hailed by the United Nations as helping peace negotiations progress even further.

Two segments of the opposition have refused to participate in the negotiations, particularly the Syrian Negotiation Commission and anti-government Kurds, as well as representatives from the United States, the United Kingdom and France.

Artem Kozhin of the Russian Foreign Ministry mentioned that “there have been some problems with an armed opposition group arriving from Turkey, which said its participation depended on additional requirements.”

Meanwhile, representatives from another opposition group refused to leave Sochi's airport, citing their displeasure with viewing Syrian flags and emblems. They demanded that the signs by taken down or else they would return to Turkey.

As the second day of the peace talks got underway, some opposition delegates stood up and heckled Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during his speech, according to Reuters. Lavrov asked the demonstrators to allow him to finish his speech for they would have their chance to speak later in the day.

Randa Kassis, a representative of the opposition platform said those who disparage the Sochi talks and found ways to avoid negotiating “don’t really want peace in Syria, they just want to keep the war in Syria.”

"Unfortunately," she added, "there are some countries that are against Sochi, against the political solution.”


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