The 9th round of UN-mediated talks between Syria's warring factions came to an end in Austria's capital Vienna on Friday with no tangible progress.
"Russia has not succeeded in promoting its conference", the opposition Syrian Negotiations Commission (SNC) said on its Twitter account.
He went on to add that care would be taken to ensure adequate representation of Syria's ethnic and religious components; and that final agreement is to be reached in the UN-led Geneva process on the mandate and terms of reference, powers, rules of procedure, and selection criteria for the composition of a Constitutional Committee. The special envoy expects that both delegations are prepared for a substantive commitment and focus on the aspects defined in Resolution 2224 of the UN Security Council: inclusive governance, the Constitution, elections and the fight against terrorism.
Vienna, Jan 27 The main Syrian opposition group said it will announce today whether it will attend a "peace congress" in Russian Federation on January 30 that is viewed with unease by Western countries.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov discussed in phone talks with UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura on Friday the preparations for the upcoming Syrian National Dialogue Congress, the Russian Foreign Ministry said, Sputnik reported.
De Mistura says the only sustainable solution to the Syrian crisis is through an inclusive Syria-led political process.
The United Nations is still considering whether to attend the Sochi conference and will make a decision based on the outcome of the Vienna meetings, spokesman Farhan Haq said.
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The U.N. -brokered peace talks with the Syrian government and opposition began Thursday, a few days before separate negotiations hosted by Damascus's close ally Russian Federation that the West views with suspicion.
"I hope that the forthcoming Syrian national dialogue congress in Sochi will contribute to a revived and credible intra-Syrian process under the United Nations in Geneva", he added.
A Western diplomatic source said that if Moscow wanted its own peace talks in Sochi to be successful, it must push its ally Assad into accepting the need for a political transition, as agreed by the UN Security Council in 2015.
Haid Haid, a consulting research fellow at Chatham House think-tank, said Russia's long-term strategic interests were at play in Sochi.
"For the Russians to take this role, they have to do what the Americans were not able to do" - find a solution in Syria, he said.
Syrian government negotiator Bashar al-Jaafari told reporters in Vienna it was "tantamount to a black comedy" that these countries were seeking to shape Syria's political future.