Syrian opposition groups refused to participate in the Sochi Summit in Russia to discuss a possible peace agreement with the Assad regime, accusing Moscow of seeking to circumvent the United Nations peace process in Geneva and committing war crimes in Syria.
The decision was announced in a statement created by 40 opposition groups, including some military factions who participated in previous peace talks in Geneva.
The statement accused Moscow of not putting enough pressure on the Syrian government to reach a political solution and has not made “a single step” towards alleviating the suffering of Syrians, which is a guarantee that they are not moving in any real path to finding a solution.
Russia, which emerged as a dominant force in Syria after a major military intervention two years ago, received support from Turkey and Iran for the Sochi Summit which will be held on January 29th and 30th.
The statement described Russia as an enemy state that supports and defends the policies of a military regime, and prevented the United Nations from condemning Assad’s government for seven years.
Other opposition groups said that they have not decided yet if they will participate in the Sochi Summit or not.
The UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said that the Russian Sochi Summit should be assessed by its ability to contribute and support the UN-led Geneva talks to end the war in Syria.