The opposition High Negotiations Committee has confirmed it will not be participating in the upcoming conference on the Syrian crisis in the Russian city of Sochi in November between representatives of the Assad regime and the Syrian opposition.
In a statement on Thursday, the HNC said that “it would not participate in any activities held outside the United Nations umbrella and does not have international guarantees to ensure compliance and preserve the blood of our people.”
The HNC said that the Russian invitation “comes within the efforts which Moscow is making to develop a solution outside the framework of U.N. legitimacy, and to torpedo the efforts exerted by the international community to reach a political solution which guarantees the Syrian people their freedom and dignity.”
It added that “the great tragedy of the Syrians, which has cost hundreds of thousands of martyrs, prisoners, detainees and wounded, and millions of refugees and forcibly displaced, cannot be resolved through the formation of a broad government under the umbrella of the regime which has caused the people’s suffering.”
The HNC called on the U.N. and international community to “restore the authority of international law and to rescue the U.N. resolutions regarding Syria, and work swiftly to stop the daily massacres against Syrians.” It also called on the U.N. to “propose new mechanisms to activate its mediation.”
A U.N. spokesperson said on Wednesday that Moscow’s planned meeting in November “is not a U.N. meeting,” adding that it will not comment on the proposal as it is still being studied.
Last Tuesday the Russian envoy to Syria, Alexander Lavrentiev, promised the Syrian opposition it would “remain outside the political process” if it rejected or placed preconditions on participation in the Sochi conference.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.