Yahya al-Aridi, representative for the Syrian Negotiations Commision (SNC), arrives at the United Nations Office in Vienna on January 26, 2018 without speaking to journalists. AFP / ALEX HALADA
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Delegates Monday arrived in Russia for peace talks aimed at ending the Syrian conflict, but hopes of progress were dimmed after the main opposition group and the Kurds said they would boycott the event.The Syrian Negotiation Commission, the country's main opposition group, said following the talks in Vienna Thursday and Friday that it would not attend the Sochi congress.More than three dozen other Syrian rebel groups, including influential Islamists, had previously said they would not come to Sochi.Western powers and some Arab states believe the Sochi talks are an attempt by Russia to create a separate peace process that undermines the U.N. peace effort while laying the groundwork for a solution favorable Assad and allies Russia and Iran.Staffan de Mistura arrived in Sochi Monday, Russian agencies reported.
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