Rebel groups reject talks on Syrian conflict hosted by Russia

Syrian rebel groups on Monday rejected Russia's planned Sochi conference on Syria, saying Moscow is seeking to bypass a United Nations-based Geneva peace process.

The statement represents 40 rebel groups who include some of the military factions who participated in earlier rounds of Geneva peace talks. Russia, backed by Turkey and Iran, wants to hold a Syrian national dialogue congress in Sochi next January 29 and 30. Some rebels say they have not yet made up their mind whether to participate.

UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura said Russia's plan to convene the congress should be judged on its ability to contribute to and support the UN-led Geneva talks.

Source: VOV5