The city of Sochi is going to host the Congress of the Peoples of Syria, RIA Novosti reported with a reference to an anonymous source. Up to 1,300 people are expected to participate - both representatives of the Syrian government and pro-government forces, as well as opposition forces, representatives of various ethnic groups, in particular, Kurds and Turkmens, representatives of the clergy.
The idea to convene the congress of the Syrian peoples was expressed by Russian President Vladimir Putin during his speech at the recent meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club. Putin stressed that the congress could be an important step towards a political settlement of the crisis in Syria.
Russian specialists set forth a draft of the new constitution of Syria in early 2017. The document was supposed to trigger discussions, but nothing has been reported lately about any movement in this direction.
The Syrian government has not responded to the Russian draft of the Syrian constitution either, thus creating an impression that it is too early to discuss the constitutional reform because the war still continues.
Last week, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and President Putin stated though that most of the Syrian territory had been liberated from terrorists. They also said that the Russian Air Force in Syria had fulfilled its tasks in Syria, and the war against terrorists was coming to an end.
Syrian President Bashar Assad believes that terrorists are all those who fight against his regime. However, Moscow does not agree with such an approach, as the list of anti-Assad forces includes pro-Egyptian and pro-Saudi opposition.
Over the past months, Russia's relationships with Egypt and Saudi Arabia have changed for the better. It is highly likely that during the recent visit of the Saudi King to the Kremlin, the parties agreed on the full participation of various groups of the Syrian opposition in the processes of political settlement of the Syrian crisis. The Arab side could guarantee the refusal of its Syrian friends from armed struggle, while the Russian side - the pliability of the official Syrian authorities.
The day when the VII round of international talks on Syria began with Astana, Putin's aide for Syria, Alexander Lavrentiev, said that Bashar Assad supported the launch of the political process in Syria and was ready to discuss the constitutional reform. "The President of Syria made a very important statement on October 26. He confirmed his readiness to launch the political process and prepare a new Constitution," Lavrentiev said at a briefing in Astana.
Hopefully, Damascus will not confront the opposition groups that were formerly referred to as irreconcilable. Against the background of the ending war on terror, the Syrians no longer have reason to kill each other.
Moscow is well aware of the fact that the process of political settlement and the creation of the new constitutional foundation of the Syrian state must not be allowed to run its course as the West may interfere any moment.
Russia will retain its leverage in Syria. Russia is strongly determined to launch the work on a new Syrian constitution. Moscow will create a special platform for this - the Congress of the Peoples of Syria. The location - in Russia's Sochi - will make it possible to isolate this assembly from foreign influence, especially on the part of the West. The text of the new Syrian constitution is likely to be agreed by the end of 2017, when, in the opinion of the United Nations, Syria holds the presidential election.
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