Sochi : The first peace talks arranged by Russia to decide about the constitution and the government selection process have failed because of the drastic differences between the parties. The staunch opponents of Assad objected to the presence of Assad representatives in the meeting. They also interrupted the speech of the of the foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, shouting slogans against Russia for supporting Assad and killing innocent citizens by indulging in the air strikes. They boycotted the talks after this. The incident is considered to be a big shock for Russia who is taking initiatives for the peace talks.
A two-day conference ‘Syrian Congress of National Dialogue’ was arranged in the city of ‘Sochi’ in Russia. Along with the ruling Assad government, the Kurds, Turk, Yazidi and the other group leaders were invited to the conference. Along with these, the anti-Assad groups fighting for the last seven years in Syria were also invited for the conference.
Russia had claimed that this was the first conference with all the factions in attendance. Russia had also invited the US, Britain and France. But, taking a firm stand, Assad cannot be a part of Syria’s future, the US and the allies refused to participate in this conference in Russia. In spite of this, Russia and the analysts had claimed that the conference will be successful and a decision about the Syrian constitution will be taken.
The Assad opponents raised questions about the Assad posters and banners at the Sochi airport and the conference venue. They strongly demanded that the banners were removed. There was a condition that there will not be any symbols of any party at the venue. The opposition claimed that Russia has violated that condition.
The opposition started shouting slogans even after the Russian foreign minister Lavrov started his speech.The opposition blamed the Russian government of being a partner with Assad government for the destruction in Syria. The opposition criticised that thousands of Syrians lost their lives in the Russian air strikes. In view of all this Lavrov had to stop his speech halfway. After this the opposition boycotted the conference and backed out.
Russia had convened this conference. Russian influence had increased after imposing ceasefire zone in six Syrian regions. But, the rebels are accusing that the Sochi conference has failed and the Assad rule is violating the ceasefire by again starting the offensive. The Russian efforts to establish peace, appear to have had a major setback. This has resulted in increasing the gap between Syrian rebels supported by the US and American allies and Russian supporting Assad rule.