Kurds, Yezidis, Druze to Be Among Participants of Syrian Dialogue Congress
Sputnik/ Alexander VilfRussia07:27 29.01.2018Get short URL
SOCHI (Sputnik) – Representatives of the Kurds, the Yezidis, the Druze and other Syrian ethnic and religious groups will participate in the upcoming Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Russia’s Sochi alongside the Arabs, who will form the majority of the event’s participants, the forum’s organizers said in a statement on Sunday.
“Over 1,600 delegates representing all layers of the Syrian society are invited to attend the congress. In terms of ethnic makeup, the Arabs will form the majority of the delegates (94.5 percent), however the Kurds are also represented, as well as the Yezidis, the Assyrians, the Armenians, the Circassians, the Chechens, the Dagestanis, the Abkhazians, the Turkomans, and the Druze,” the statement read.
The Russia-organized Syrian National Dialogue Congress will be held in Sochi on Monday and Tuesday. The forum, which is expected to launch the process of drafting of the new Syrian constitution, will provide an opportunity for both the government and the domestic, external and armed opposition groups to express their positions.
Attendees from the UN Security Council permanent members along with Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia have been invited to take part in the forum as observers. The first group of the congress participants arrived in Sochi earlier on Sunday.
The arriving guests received Russia’s traditional greeting of the with bread and salt. “The idea with bread and salt is amazing. Because in Syria, we have the same tradition. In Syria, if we offer bread and salt to each other, it means we will have friendship forever,” Ahmad Kuzbari a Syrian lawmaker, who arrived in the Russian resort city to take part in the congress, told Sputnik on Sunday.
The Syrians arriving in Sochi are also being met by volunteers wearing traditional Russian costumes and singing folk songs with balalaika music. “This welcome is just amazing, very beautiful. I hope we can do good here for the peace in Syria,” George Aisber, a professor at Teshreen University in Syria’s Latakia and the congress’ participant told Sputnik on Sunday.
The forum organizers also announced that the delegation of the Syrian Foreign Ministry, headed by Ahmad Arnus, the adviser of the Syrian foreign minister, has been invited to take part in the event.
“Besides, the delegation of the Syrian Foreign Ministry headed by the [Syrian foreign] minister’s adviser and comprising the directors of the ministry’s relevant departments has been invited to the congress,” the statement released on Sunday said.
The congress’ organizers also stated that there were Syrian domestic opposition from the Syrian People’s Council, the Syrian major political parties, including Syria’s ruling Arab Socialist Baath Party and the National Progressive Front, eminent religious leaders of all faiths, trade unions, arts organizations and national minorities among the congress’ participants.
“A particular group of participants is ‘reconciled’ members of illegal armed groups, a total of 230 small armed groups have disarmed voluntarily during the counterterrorism operation” the statement added.
According to the congress’ organizers, the external opposition will be represented by Moscow and Astana platforms, the Syria’s Tomorrow Movement and the National Coordination Committee for the Forces of Democratic Change.