Sergei Lavrov & Mohammad Javad Zarif & Mevlut Cavusoglu

Critical week for Syria as parallel talks get under way

The Guardian | : Leaders of Russia, Turkey and Iran to meet in Sochi to push ceasefire and constitution plan as Assad’s opponents convene in Riyadh

With a flurry of diplomatic activity, two separate summits on Syria are to be staged this week to put decisive pressure on both sides to end the civil war and thrash out a new constitution that is likely to leave President Bashar al-Assad in power.

With Islamic State crushed and the democratic opposition to Assad also in military retreat, the three key regional powers – Russia, Iran and Turkey – will meet in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi on Wednesday to discuss how to wind down hostilities and draw up a political settlement.

On the same day but separately, as many as 30 groups opposed to Assad will gather in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s capital, for three days of talks aimed at forming a broad negotiating team before UN peace talks resume in Geneva on 28 November.

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