Syria opposition says will not attend Sochi talks: official Twitter account

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During the meeting attended by the Russian president's special envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentiev as well as Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Önal, the officials of Iran, Russia and Turkey also known as guarantor states made the final arrangements for holding Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi.

The opposition will decide in the next two days whether to attend Sochi, its chief negotiator Nasr Hariri, said on Wednesday.

Nine rounds of United Nations peace talks between the warring sides have made little progress toward ending the civil war in which hundreds of thousands have been killed and 11 million - a majority of the Syrian population - driven from their homes.

According to a member of the Free Syrian Army's (FSA) military council, the opposition delegation also received a pledge from Russian Federation that it would press the regime to enforce a ceasefire in the besieged enclave of eastern Ghouta.

Opposition forces appear to be concerned that the Russian-led peace initiative will favor the Assad government.

A ninth round of UN-sponsored peace talks ended in Vienna on Friday without result.

"Our main goal is to see the commitment of all the sides to the implementation of UN Security Council resolution 2254".

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There have been eight previous rounds of failed UN-backed talks in Geneva.

"All external supporters of the political process should encourage the opposition and government delegations to engage genuinely in the talks, focus squarely on these topics and, at least initially, set aside other issues", it said.

The opposition is deliberating whether to participate in the national dialogue conference in Sochi, Russia.

The opposition scheduled a news conference for 0900 GMT on Saturday.

"The Secretary-General is confident that the Congress in Sochi will be an important contribution to a revived intra-Syrian talks process under the auspices of the United Nations in Geneva", Dujarric added.

Haid Haid, a consulting research fellow at Chatham House think-tank, said Russia's long-term strategic interests were at play in Sochi.

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