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Syria strongly rejects so-called peace proposal by US, Saudi Arabia

Syria strongly rejects so-called peace proposal by US, Saudi Arabia

De Mistura commented that Russia had said the Sochi talks were aimed at supporting the United Nations process: "I took note of the statement by the Russian Federation that the outcome of the (Sochi) congress would be brought to Geneva as a contribution to the intra-Syrian talks process under the auspices of the United Nations".

The United States, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Britain and France have put forward a proposal that would involve strengthening the role of Syria's prime minister - at the expense of Assad's authority, according to a leaked document circulated online. On Thursday, Russia said some 1,600 people had been invited to the Congress of National Dialogue aimed at resolving the years-long crisis in the Arab country.

Guterres "is confident that the congress in Sochi will be an important contribution" to reviving the peace talks held under United Nations auspices in Geneva, a United Nations spokesman said in a statement.

"Russia is going to present in particular its project for a new Syrian constitution", said Adjar Kourtov, analyst at the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISI).

The talks follow the Astana meetings in Kazakhstan which led to four "de-escalation zones" agreed under a deal a year ago between rebel backer Turkey and regime allies Iran and Russian Federation.

A Syrian opposition official, speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said it was "not good", declining to explain why.




"Bring elders, Kurds in local outfits, et cetera, that makes a nice photo, but it doesn't guarantee that their representatives will be there", a European diplomatic source said.

"We advise Washington to ponder, where its path of scrapping relations with Russian Federation could lead and whether this meets the interests of the American people", the ministry was quoted as saying. He said the talks would be a test of all sides' commitment to a political solution rather than a military one.

Diplomats also note that Tehran has little to gain from a political resolution.

Two weeks ago, Turkey launched air strikes and shelling against Kurdish militias in northern Syria, marking a risky new escalation in the conflict.

"The Russians have done everything to weaken the Geneva process".

De Mistura stressed the legitimacy of the UN-led talks over Russia's parallel peace push, however, saying firmly that a political transition for Syria "is to be reached in the UN-led Geneva process". Download The for your device.in English and other languages.

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