According to the movement’s press service, the decision was taken at a meeting of the movement’s political bureau in Cairo on January 27-28. The political bureau called on the group’s members who have received an invitation for the Congress to take part in it in order to promote intra-Syrian dialogue towards a consensus among all the strata of Syrian society on the country’s future and to encourage political settlement process.
The group’s leaders called on other opposition forces in Syria not to refrain from attending the Congress.
Another opposition group, the Syrian Negotiation Commission, said it will skip Sochi conference.
“The Syrian negotiation commission of revolutionary and opposition forces declares the boycott of the Congress in Sochi called by Russia for January 29-30,” the High Negotiations Committee tweeted.
The initiative to convene a Syrian National Dialogue Congress in the Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi was announced at the latest meeting of the Syrian ceasefire guarantor nations (Russia, Iran and Turkey) in Astana in late December.
The forum is scheduled to be held on January 29-30. Along with the Syrian sides, it is expected to be attended by observers, including from the United Nations. About 1,500 delegates representing the entire spectrum of Syria’s political forces have been invited to take part. The Congress’ key task is to set up a commission on working out Syria’s new constitution.
Syria has been gripped by a foreign-backed insurgency since 2011 which has led to the killing of hundreds of thousands of civilians and displacing of millions.