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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 23 May 2018

Syria opposition to boycott Sochi talks

The largest opposition grouping is currently in Vienna for UN-brokered talks

A man walks through rubble in the Salaheddine neighborhood in the eastern Aleppo, Syria, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. Turkey's military fired into a Kurdish-run enclave in north Syria for a second day on Saturday, one day after the country's defense minister announced an operation to "cleanse" the Kurdish militia in control of the enclave. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
A man walks through rubble in the Salaheddine neighborhood in the eastern Aleppo, Syria, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. Turkey's military fired into a Kurdish-run enclave in north Syria for a second day on Saturday, one day after the country's defense minister announced an operation to "cleanse" the Kurdish militia in control of the enclave. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

Syria's opposition said early Saturday that it will boycott a peace congress in Russia next week, according to its official Twitter account.

"The HNC announces the boycott of the Sochi conference that Russia had invited it to," the tweet in Arabic on the High Negotiations Committee (HNC)'s account said after UN-brokered talks in Vienna.

The decision came after the both the opposition and regime held a second day of talks with the UN special envoy Staffan de Mistura -- with no sign, as in eight previous rounds of failed UN-backed talks, that the warring two sides met face-to-face.

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Syrian opposition warns of Sochi talks undermining Geneva peace process

Russia invites Kurds to join Syria peace congress

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Russia has in the meantime been sponsoring parallel peace talks alongside Iran and Turkey since early last year, and had invited some 1,600 people to a "peace congress" in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on January 29 and 30 to begin hammering out a constitution for post-war Syria.

However, western powers have regarded the talks with suspicion, however, worrying that Moscow is seeking to undermine the United-Nations backed talks with a view to ultimately carving out a settlement in favour of its ally, Syrian President Bashar Al Assad.

The United Nations said it had yet to decide whether or not it would attend the Sochi talks.