FILE PHOTO: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov listens to a question during a news conference at the United Nations in New York, U.S., January 19, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
MOSCOW - 28 January 2018: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov discussed preparations for a Syria peace congress in the Russian city of Sochi on Jan. 29-30 with Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in a phone call on Saturday, the Russian foreign ministry said on Sunday.
on January 27, The Syrian opposition said that he will not attend a peace conference Russia is hosting next week, a spokesman reported , dismissing the meeting as an attempt by the Syrian government’s close ally to “sideline” the current United Nations peace process.
He was speaking at the end of two days of U.N.-brokered talks between the Syrian government and opposition, after which the host said the United Nations had not decided whether to attend the conference in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.
Syrian government forces are pursuing offensives against two remaining rebel pockets, Idlib in the northwest and eastern Ghouta near Damascus. Turkey has poured troops into the north to fight Kurdish militias that have established regional autonomy and are seen by Ankara as a menace to its security.
A document drawn up by the United States, Jordan, Britain, France and Saudi Arabia made recommendations to the Vienna talks’ host, U.N. Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, for what they called a “practical approach” to what would be a “slow” U.N. political process.