Opposition group boycotts peace talks in Russian Federation

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Staffan de Mistura has just wrapped up two days of United Nations -mediated peace talks with Syrian government and opposition delegations in Vienna.

Alexander Lavrentiev, Moscow's envoy on Syria, said on January 20 that, Russia, Turkey and Iran had reached consensus on a list of countries that will participate in the summit.

Before the SNC announcement, United Nations officials said they were still "evaluating the situation" before making a decision as to whether to attend the Sochi talks.

But the Syrian government delegation objected to the opposition's tough line on the future of Assad, and the talks achieved nothing. "Very, very critical", De Mistura told reporters in Vienna, adding that both sides had promised to send full delegations.

As with eight previous rounds of failed UN-backed talks in Geneva, there was no sign that the warring sides had met face to face at discussions meant to lay the groundwork for a new post-war constitution.

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will also attend.

The cease-fire ended a two-month escalation between government forces and rebels in the Eastern Ghouta region.

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Nasr al-Hariri from the SNC said that the next two days would be "a real test for all the sides".

A ninth round of UN-sponsored peace talks ended in Vienna on Friday without result.

Assad appears unassailable in the conflict thanks to direct military intervention by Iran and Russian Federation, which is now seen as the pivotal foreign power in the war and is due to host a Syrian peace congress in Sochi next week.

When asked about the outcome of the meetings between the opposition and a number of global officials, al-Zu'bi said that all these meetings came to reveal to the parties concerned to resolve the Syrian crisis, was the reality of the Syrian regime and its inflexible stance.

"The main place to achieve a political solution, a political transition is in the UN-led process (in the Geneva framework)..."

The meeting comes as part of a new round of the intra-Syrian dialogue in the context of the Geneva political process.

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