29 Jan 2018 16:44

Sochi congress has chance of helping Geneva process - Syria's Tomorrow opposition movement

SOCHI. Jan 29 (Interfax) - The opposition Syria's Tomorrow Movement believes that the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi will, unlike the talks in Geneva, be able to advance the political dialogue and lead to the formation of working committees, but it is premature to say whether the "Sochi format" will continue.

"It is too soon to talk about [a repeat of the congress] but we know from the news that UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres asked that the Sochi format happen only once. We cannot say whether there will be a continuation of the format; first, the congress needs to be held for the first time," Syria's Tomorrow representative Monzer Aqbiq said in response to a question from Interfax.

"It is clear that the congress will result in the formation of committees which will continue working, meeting, and doing real work on concrete issues," Aqbiq said.

"I hope we will be able to agree on the principles of a ceasefire, a political transition to democracy as per UN SC Resolution 2254, and an improvement of the humanitarian situation," he said.

"This [congress] in Sochi is the first time that so many people have gathered since the war began. This is an opportunity to embark on a path towards peace," Aqbiq said.

"We will be talking about the constitution. Many countries are involved in this process, but right now what is needed is an intra-Syrian dialogue. The Geneva format has not been much help in this whole process. Now there's a chance in Sochi to help the Geneva process," he said.

The Syria's Tomorrow delegation is led by the movement's leader, Ahmad Jarba.