The Syrians have high expectations for the National Dialogue Congress, deputy head of the Syrian Union of Journalists and political analyst Mustafa al-Miqdad told Sputnik Arabic, revealing the main difference between the Geneva talks and the Sochi summit.
"The meeting in Sochi is very different from the Geneva negotiations," the political analyst said. "The representatives of various political and social groups as well as the representatives of militants who have embraced the reconciliation and are located in de-escalation zones in Syria, arrived at the [Sochi] congress. The Syrian opposition representatives who attended the Geneva talks [often] worked against the political solution of the Syrian crisis. Some foreign forces, that cannot directly influence the situation in Syria, are pursuing their goal (of disrupting the peace process) through some opposition figures and regularly invite them to Geneva."
In contrast, the Russia-promoted Sochi talks are expected to facilitate the resolution of the seven year- long crisis.
Second, the analyst underscored that the Sochi summit had brought together the representatives of virtually all the layers of the Syrian society, starting from peasants and ending with lawyers, writers and militants.
"All of them want to lay the foundations for the future political structure of Syria," al-Miqdad pointed out. "This makes the meeting in Sochi that receives full support from Russia, a genuine national congress with a good chance of success."
According to the political analyst, there is certain connection between the political negotiations and the situation on the battlefield in Syria. He underscored that the Syrians should not allow their enemies to reap the fruit of their military successes on the ground.
"This was done so that the success in Aleppo did not bring the same victory at the negotiating table," al-Miqdad said.
Commenting on the situation surrounding the Syrian city of Idlib and Turkey's efforts to maintain control over the region, the Syrian journalist noted that Damascus "does not rely on Turkey's guarantees."
"The Syrian [Arab] Army continues its operation in Idlib steadily moving forward," he said. "Syria has made the final military-political decision to return the entire territory, including Idlib and other regions, under the control of the Syrian government."
The Syrian National Dialogue Congress that has been officially opened on January 30 has brought together various political, ethnic and religious groups of the Syrian society, including pro-government and opposition forces, to seek a way out of the political crisis.
Addressing the meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated in an official statement that only the people of Syria can define the country's future.
"Jointly with the partners in the Astana process — Iran and Turkey, influential Arab states, Syria's neighbors, we tried to make this event as representative as possible, based on the fact that only the people of Syria have the right to determine the future of their country," the president's statement said.
The views and opinions expressed by Mustafa al-Miqdad are those of the analyst and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.