1,600 Syrians invited to participate in Sochi’s Congress, Zakharova says

Moscow, SANA-Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that cards of invitation have been distributed to 1,600 Syrians to attend the Syrian National Dialogue Congress scheduled to be held in Sochi on January 29-30.

During a press conference on Thursday, Zakharova said that invitations were also sent to the United Nations and regional and international partners as observers at the Congress, noting that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will participate in the Congress.

Zakharova slammed the US policy towards Syria, saying that Washington’s declaration about its intention to maintain its military presence in Syria, a sovereign state, violates international law and is not in the interest of the political settlement efforts there.

In the wake of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s speech in Stanford and reports from US military sources about the creation of some armed groups under the US patronage to guard the border in northern Syria, the new US strategy looks in no way other than a policy of dismembering that country, Zakharova added.

She affirmed that the Turkish aggression on Afrin city constitutes a “serious new challenge.”

In response to a question about Russian-Turkish contacts over the aggression, the spokeswoman affirmed the discussion of this matter, by Foreign Minister Lavrov and other Russian officials, adding that Russia is making every effort to involve the Syrian Kurds in the efforts to settle the crisis.

Manar/Mazen

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