Russian-sponsored diplomatic talks over the future of Syria have begun in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi, but experts predict the summit will merely attempt to enforce a political solution that is in line with the Syrian government's agenda.
The two-day conference that started on Monday has been given the name "Congress of the Syrian National Dialogue". It will be the first round of negotiations to take place in Russia, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's main ally.
The United Nations envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura will be attending the talks, along with representatives from the Syrian, Iranian and Turkish governments.
Meanwhile, the main opposition bloc - the Syrian Negotiations Commission (SNC), also known as the Higher Negotiation Committee (HNC), announced it will boycott the conference, claiming it is an attempt to undercut the United Nations' (UN) effort to broker a deal