The aim of the Tuesday congress is to bring Syria closer to creating a post-war constitution, after two days of separate UN-backed talks in Vienna last week closed with the warring sides not even meeting face to face to discuss the groundwork for the document.
The Syrian National Dialogue Congress is starting in Russia's Sochi today.
Reuters reported that an opposition spokesman says the group, which seeks the removal of Syrian President Bashar Assad, won't attend the conference in the Russian resort city of Sochi on Tuesday because it's an attempt by Moscow to sideline a separate United Nations peace process supported by Washington, the European Union and various Arab powers.
The Kremlin shrugged off a Syrian opposition decision to boycott a peace conference in Russian Federation this week, saying on Monday the event would go ahead regardless and make a meaningful contribution to a political solution.
Paris and London will not be taking part in Sochi, saying the talks had to be part of a UN-led process and urging Moscow to get the Syrian regime to engage in meaningful negotiations.
Authorities from Syria's Kurdish autonomous region said Sunday they would not participate because of an ongoing Turkish offensive on the Kurdish enclave of Afrin.
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"If there was a failure in Vienna it was because the regime was not in the negotiations", he added.
Later on the same day, Mr. Jaberi Ansari is slated to represent the Islamic Republic of Iran at the trilateral meeting of the Astana Peace Process Guarantor States joining the envoys from Russian Federation and Turkey.
"Over 1,600 delegates representing all layers of the Syrian society are invited to attend the congress".
Western powers have viewed the Russian peace initiative with suspicion, worrying that Moscow is seeking to undermine the UN-backed talks with a view to carving out a settlement that strengthens its ally Assad.
Only a fraction of the invitees are set to participate in the event, however, according to a list of participants seen by AFP which has about 350 people on it.
"Despite the huge psychological pressure which was exerted on the Syrians by those who seek the continuation of the fratricidal conflict in Syria, to prevent the participation of the opposition figures in the Sochi congress, they found the bravery to arrive in Sochi and take part in determining the future of their country".