World Bulletin / News Desk
Russia's deputy foreign minister said Tuesday that the Syrian National Dialogue Congress, planned to be convened in Russia, "should take place under the auspices of the United Nations."
Speaking to RIA Novosti news agency, Mikhail Bogdanov said that all steps toward resolving the Syrian crisis had been taken in line with the UN Security Council resolution 2254.
Bogdanov urged all parties involved in the Syrian crisis to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country.
The Russian city of Sochi is the designated venue of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress, which is planned to be held on Jan. 29-30 with the participation of about 1,700 people.
The presidents of Turkey, Russia and Iran met in Sochi on Nov. 22 to discuss the progress brought about by the Astana peace talks and the changes in the de-escalation zones across Syria.
Also at the same summit, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Vladimir Putin and Hassan Rouhani agreed to hold a Syrian National Dialogue Congress in the Russian city.
Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.
Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million displaced, according to UN officials.
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Ahead of the Helsinki meeting, here is a selection of remarks the two world leaders have made about each other.