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03Feb18


Syrian Congress in Sochi will give impetus to Geneva process - Russian Ambassador to UN


The Congress of Syrian National Dialogue in Sochi would not "diminish" the Geneva process, but should give it a new impetus, Russia's Ambassador to the United Nations Organization Vasily Nebenzya said on Saturday.

"The accusations we can hear say that we want to diminish the Geneva process - they are not true to life, we want to give a new impetus to the Geneva process," he said in an interview with the Rossiya 1 television channel.

Earlier, the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres thanked Russia and personally Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to cooperation with the global organization in the forum's preparations.

On January 31, participants in the Syrian National Dialogue Congress, held in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, adopted a 12-point statement outlining positions on their country's future. The document stipulates Syria should maintain its sovereignty and territorial integrity, stressing at the same the Syrian people hold the prerogative to determine the country's future through elections.

According to organizers, the Sochi Syrian Congress brought together 1,511 delegates representing all strata of Syrian society. Most of the participants (94.5%) were Arabs but there were also Kurds, Yazidis, Assyrians, Armenians, Circassians, Chechens, Dagestanis, Abkhazians, Turkomans and the Druze. Key regional and global players attended the event as observers. The forum's key task was to organize a commission on the country's new constitution. The Syrians also requested United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres to assist them in setting up a constitutional commission, the mandate of which will be specified at the Geneva talks.

Russia's Ambassador Nebenzya touched upon other political issues. In response to a question about the tension between the U.S. and Iran regarding the nuclear deal, the diplomat said the American counterparts' "irrational attitude to that country is similar to Senator Cato's attitude to Carthage - <> must be destroyed."

He also commented on the situation with the attempts for the so-called international isolation of Russia, by saying, all guests hurry to attend receptions at Russia's Representation at UN. According to the diplomat, invited are all, as the Russian office does not divide countries "into countries-friends and countries-enemies.".

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 03Feb18]

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