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Thread: Sochi Syria Conference

  1. #1
    The Un-Holy One The Man's Avatar
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    Sochi Syria Conference

    A Syrian peace conference in Russia has got off to a rocky start after some delegates opposed to Bashar al-Assad refused to leave the airport on arrival and the Russian foreign minister was heckled.

    Russia is hosting the Syrian congress of national dialogue in Sochi in the hope that it will lead to negotiations on drafting a new constitution for Syria after almost seven years of war.

    But in a blow to Moscow, which is a staunch ally of the Syrian president and has cast itself as a Middle East peace broker, the event has been boycotted by the leadership of Syria’s opposition.

    Countries including the US, UK and France are not there because they say the Syrian government is refusing to properly engage with the opposition.

    These nations support a separate UN-mediated peace process, which has so far failed to bring the conflict any closer to an end. The latest round of talks took place in Vienna last week.

    Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, helped open the conference on Tuesday by reading out a statement from Vladimir Putin saying the conditions were ripe for Syria to turn “a tragic page” in its history.

    But some delegates stood up and began heckling him, accusing Moscow of killing civilians in Syria with airstrikes.

    The incident was broadcast on Russian state TV, where two security guards were shown approaching one man in the audience indicating that he should sit down.

    Others shouted out their support for Russia. Lavrov told the delegates to let him finish speaking.

    One group of delegates, which included members of the armed opposition, who had flown in from Turkey, refused to leave Sochi airport until Syrian government flags and emblems were removed.

    Ahmad al-Burri, who has taken part in Syrian peace talks in Kazakhstan, said: “We will go back to Turkey. Whatever happens, we will not enter Sochi. We informed them [Russia] of our conditions that they should remove all the logos and flags representing the Syrian government.“

    Mohammed Adnan, a journalist and member of the Syrian opposition based in Turkey, said there were about 70 people in the group at the airport and they were waiting for a plane to take them back to Ankara.

    Artyom Kozhin, a senior diplomat at the Russian foreign ministry, said the start of the congress was delayed because organisers had been waiting for delegates and observers to arrive.

    “Some problems have arisen with a group of the armed opposition that has come from Turkey, which has made its participation dependent on additional demands,” he said.

    Lavrov had spoken on the phone twice to his Turkish counterpart and been told the problem would be resolved, Kozhin said.

    Russian officials have complained about attempts to sabotage the conference, which was originally billed as a two-day event, but was reduced to one at the last minute.
    Russian foreign minister heckled at Syria peace conference

    Those "opposition" people should be more realistic. They need to understand they ain't gonna win this war, at this point. Their enclaves are shrinking. In Idlib, Assad forces are kicking their butts with help of Russian firepower. In Daraa, in the South, they are being overrun by a group loyal to ISIS.

    If they want to survive, gotta start negotiating, that's all there is. They are not in position to "demand" anything, however hard they may try to deny this.
    Thanks from LT Greenbean

  2. #2
    Member LT Greenbean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Man View Post
    Russian foreign minister heckled at Syria peace conference

    Those "opposition" people should be more realistic. They need to understand they ain't gonna win this war, at this point. Their enclaves are shrinking. In Idlib, Assad forces are kicking their butts with help of Russian firepower. In Daraa, in the South, they are being overrun by a group loyal to ISIS.

    If they want to survive, gotta start negotiating, that's all there is. They are not in position to "demand" anything, however hard they may try to deny this.
    I very much agree with everything you said. Russia, unfortunately, is too overwhelming for the opposition. It'll either be negotiations...or death. For their sake, they need to cooperate with Russia.
    Thanks from The Man

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