21:59 GMT +323 March 2018
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    Rebel spokesman Yehya al-Aridi speaks to the media during the second day of Syria peace talks at Astana's Rixos President Hotel on January 24, 2017

    Syria Opposition to Decide Saturday on National Dialogue Congress Attendance

    © AFP 2018/ Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV
    Middle East
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    VIENNA (Sputnik) - The Syrian Negotiation Commission (SNC), an opposition group, will say Saturday whether it will attend the National Dialogue Congress in Russia’s Sochi, its spokesman Yahya Aridi said in Vienna on Friday.

    "Tomorrow will be a press conference by the head of SNC and he will give you the decision about Sochi participation," Aridi told reporters at a briefing.

    The congress is scheduled for January 30. Russia has invited more than 1,500 representatives of the Syrian society to take part in the event. The United Nations and several regional and international organizations have been offered observer roles. The US State Department has also confirmed an invitation to the event, but could not provide information on whether US representatives would attend.

    The gathering aims at bringing together opposition and pro-government forces as well as representatives of Syria's numerous ethnic and religious groups. They will be invited to discuss their vision of Syria's future in a bid to advance the peace process. The focus will be on the efforts to draft a new constitution and hold elections.


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