Syrian opposition say Russia trying to undercut UN talks

AP News
Posted: Nov 01, 2017 7:07 AM

BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian opposition members say Russia's plans to host Syrian groups and government representatives for political talks are an attempt to undercut U.N. efforts to resolve Syria's conflict.

It's not clear if the rejection from the internationally-backed Syrian opposition means they will boycott the meeting expected on Nov. 18 — 10 days before the U.N.-sponsored talks scheduled in Geneva.

Russia invited a dozen Syrian groups and the government to Sochi for talks.

A senior member of the opposition Higher Negotiations Committee Alise Mofrej says Russia is "trying hard to cancel" the U.N. process.

She wrote on Twitter on Wednesday the Russia proposal is creating a "tactical parallel" that threatens to undermine a political solution.

Another opposition member, Ahmed Ramadan, said the Russian invite "bypasses" the United Nations and existing UN resolutions.