Syrian opposition rejects Russia-sponsored congress

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Moscow is trying to invite as many participants as possible for the congress to guarantee wide representation of Syria's political groups, he said.

A new round of Syria peace talks brokered by Iran, Russia and Turkey has begun in the Kazakh capital.

Representatives of the Syrian regime, armed opposition groups, as well as delegations from the UN, Jordan and the USA will attend the talks, he confirmed.

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Russian Federation is the main backer of the head of the Syrian regime, Bashar al-Assad.

Assad "has confirmed his readiness for.the preparation of a new constitution and the holding of new parliamentary and presidential elections on this basis", Lavrentyev said, adding that Assad's acceptance of such a constitutional reform process is "a very important announcement".

Russian President Vladimir Putin first mentioned the possibility of such a congress earlier this month.

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The Syrian opposition to President Bashar al-Assad rejected a Russian-sponsored congress of Syrian groups scheduled for November 18 in Sochi and insisted any peace talks be held under United Nations sponsorship in Geneva, opposition officials said on Wednesday.

Head of Iranian delegation at Astana talks Hossein Jaberi Ansari said that guarantor states agreed to set up 12 observation posts in Syria's Idlib aimed at implementing the de-escalation agreement.

Two separate series of peace talks are being conducted in an attempt to end the six-year civil war in Syria. De Mistura's office declined to comment.

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