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Syrian Congress On National Dialogue: What Is Going Wrong With Russian-backed Initiative?


Syrian Congress On National Dialogue: What Is Going Wrong With Russian-backed Initiative?

© REUTERS/ Fabrice Coffrini/Pool

On October 31, Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs posted a list of 33 organizations invited to participate in the Syrian Congress on National Dialogue scheduled on November 18 in the Russian city of Sochi. The congress initiative was originally announced following the recent round of the peace talks on Syria in the Kazakh capital of Astana which took place on October 30-31.

On November 1, official from the Syrian opposition rejected this initiative and insisted any talks be held within the UN-backed Geneva format, which has allowed to achieve almost nothing since its launch.

Mohammad Alloush, a member of the Saudi-backed High Negotiations Committee and a senior member of the Jaish al-Islam militant group, told Reuters that the HNC would “issue a statement with other parties setting out the general position rejecting this conference.” Turkey-based Syrian National Coalition also denied its participation. After this, the congress announcement was taken down from the Russian ministry’s website.

It’s clear that the Russia Foreign Ministry was not able to release the list of 33 groups that would particiate in the announced congress without pre-consideration with the representatives of these groups. Most likely, the so-called “opposition” changed their vision of the situation under pressure of their Western backers. If Russia is able to establish a successful negotiation ground in Sochi, this will be another victory of Moscow’s diplomacy over the conflict. Some powers cannot allow this.

The issue of the upcoming talks and their participants remains open.

Here’s the original list, with each entry followed by the respective organization’s headquarters (source):

  1. Popular Front for Change and Liberation, Cairo
  2. National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change, Damascus
  3. People’s Party, Damascus
  4. People’s Will Party, Damascus
  5. National Youth for Justice and Development, Damascus
  6. Solidarity Party, Damascus
  7. National Congress Party for secular Syria, Damascus
  8. Alternative for Syria, Damascus
  9. High Negotiations Committee, Riyadh
  10. Kamh movement, Paris, Geneva
  11. Southern Front of SFA, Geneva
  12. Syrian National Council, Istanbul
  13. National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, Istanbul
  14. Democratic Union Party, Qamishli
  15. Kurdistan Democratic Party of Syria, Kobani
  16. Syriac Union Party, Qamishli
  17. Kurdish National Council, Qamishli
  18. Movement (Together) for a Free and Democratic Syria, Geneva, Madrid
  19. Building the Syrian State, Geneva
  20. Syrian Democratic People’s Party, Damascus
  21. Syria Homeland Party, Damascus
  22. National Conference, Damascus
  23. Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party — Syrian Regional Branch, Damascus
  24. Social Democratic Unionists, Damascus
  25. Path of Peaceful Change, Damascus
  26. Syrian National Youth Party, Damascus
  27. The Elders
  28. Syrian National Democratic Union
  29. Syrian Social Nationalist Party, Damascus
  30. Assyrian Democratic Organization Mtakasta
  31. Democratic Arab Socialist Union, Damascus
  32. Arab Socialist Union, Damascus
  33. Socialist Unionists, Damascus



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  • Bente Petersen


  • Garga

    Perhaps there’s a solution: Count any group who rejects political talks and resorts to armed opposition as a terror group and deal with them as such.
    How long do they want to continue like that? Perhaps when ISIS is no more, they’ll form a coalition with Syrian PKK and create another armed opposition, re-branded and all, under the protection of their uncle, Sam.

  • Pave Way IV

    The US is all for democracy and dialogue if it can corrupt the process and control the result to serve its own interests. Kind of like democracy in a cage. The ‘people’s will’ can choose to go anywhere it wants inside the cage, so it’s kind of like freedom, right? No free-range democracy allowed. That’s dangerous!

    • Olypious

      Yeah … It’s all smoke and mirrors. And those who are not paying attention will likely fall for the Western-Values® and Democracy® narrative.
      Besides, even US elections are tightly controlled and rigged if necessary (the last one in favor of Clinton without a doubt).

  • Serious

    So, they don’t want democracy. So, kill them.

    • Blucross

      You realize ‘bribery’ is the main tool of democratic parties ?

  • Jason H. Smith

    Let them throw their teddies in the corner! When all the noise and dust finally settles they are going to have to come up with some sort of lasting settlement that is based on common sense and a sound grasp of reality. This is the worst sort of irresponsible gesture politics that will just totally discredit them.

  • Suyanto Ng

    This ‘democratic stuntman’, nothing than terrorist backed by CIA, Gulf states. Their generous financiers know for sure Russian and Syria victory upon their ‘democratic’ thugs, decided on dialogue scheme, so this crook only need ‘b*tt spanking’ for them to crawling back to negotiation table.

  • palebluedot

    Excellent! I don’t see one jihadi (AKA Obama “moderate rebel”) faction on this list.

    Alloush can burn in hell with the rest of the Saudi-backed stench.

  • Ronald

    The ” Syrian opposition rejected this initiative ( Sochi ) and insisted any talks be held within the UN backed Geneva format ” . Reason being is the US can control the Geneva “accords” , they control the list of “delegates” allowed to speak ( themselves US , UK , France etc ) therefore controlling the conclusions reached . Geneva will be used to facilitate their agenda the fracturing of Syria into smaller “controllable ” states . The jihadists have no wish for peace , that would put them out of a job .

  • Blucross

    Bribery is legal in America, so YOU should NOT expect a different outcome in Your country.