United Nations Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria Staffan de Mistura - Rueters
MOSCOW - 29 January 2018: UN special envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura arrived on Monday in Sochi to take part in the Russia-sponsored Congress of the Syrian National Dialogue, Sputnik News Agency reported.
A number of participants in the conference arrived on Sunday night, while others are due later in the day.
Talks will reportedly probe a political solution towards ending the seven-year Syrian conflict.
The Syrian Dialogue Congress is expected to gather more than 1,500 representatives of Syrian society: opposition and pro-government forces, as well as representatives of Syria's numerous ethnic and religious groups and the delegations from states participating in the peace process, with the United Nations and several regional and international organizations present as observers.
The event will allow the participants to discuss their vision of Syria's future in a bid to advance the peace process.
Russia has not yet received an official notification from the Syrian Negotiation Commission (SNC) about its decision on attending the upcoming congress, a source from the Russian Foreign Ministry told Sputnik on Saturday.
The statement came after earlier in the day, a message on the SNC's Twitter account said the group has decided not to attend the congress.