Turkey: Syria groups' dialogue summit in Russia delayed

(MENAFN- Trend News Agency ) Turkey's presidency on Sunday said Moscow has postponed a Syrian National Dialogue Congress to a later date, adding that Turkey will not attend but may send an observer, Anadolu reported.

Ibrahim Kalin, presidential spokesman, said that Turkey had been in the middle of deciding whether to accept or decline the invitation to the congress -- originally set for Nov. 18 -- when news came it had been postponed.

'We found out that the congress was announced as a fait accompli. We immediately objected', he told news channel NTV. 'Afterwards, the Kremlin contacted us and stated that they had postponed this meeting'.

Moscow invited all Syrian opposition forces to attend the planned congress in the city of Sochi, Russia's foreign minister said Friday.

Kalin said that Turkey will not be attending the meetings but may send an observer.

'It's not certain yet. But what Russia has told us is that the meeting has been postponed now and the PYD would not be invited", he added.

The Turkish government considers the PYD/YPG to be the Syrian offshoot of the PKK, a designated terrorist organization by Turkey and the U.S., and would object to it attending the conference.

During the last round of Syria peace talks in the Kazakh capital Astana late last month, three guarantor countries -- Russia, Turkey and Iran -- agreed to discuss proposals for holding a national dialogue conference.

However, the Syrian opposition's High Negotiations Committee and the Syrian Coalition of Revolutionary and Opposition Forces both appear to have declined invitations to attend the gathering.

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.

Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict, according to UN figures.


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