WASHINGTON: US Defence Secretary James Mattis claimed this week’s Syrian national dialogue congress in Russia’s Sochi had failed to produce any significant results.
“You see, coming out of Sochi, which did not work out, I think is the most polite way to describe the outcome. They’re on their way to Geneva – Staffan de Mistura – and the United Nations,” he told reporters on Friday.
Mattis did not say why he deemed the Sochi peace effort a failure, but stressed the UN-backed process in Geneva, brokered by UN special envoy de Mistura, was “on track again for all the people who’ve questioned we’d ever get there.”
The Sochi dialogue congress was held in the Russian resort city on Tuesday. It brought together some 1,400 delegates from the Syrian government and various opposition groups who agreed to form a constitutional commission in Geneva to amend the existing Syrian constitution.
Earlier, UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura stated that the final communique of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi for the Syrian crisis settlement was worked out within the UN-backed Geneva process.
UN Envoy for Syria also said that the constitutional committee agreed on at the Syrian National Dialogue Congress will comprise both the representatives of the Syrian government and opposition activists and thanked the forum in the city of Sochi for its contribution to the Geneva peace talks.