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>> A rocky start for Syria peace talks in Russia. Hecklers interrupted Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov as he opened the conference in the Black Sea Resort of Sochi. Accusing Moscow, a staunch ally of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, of killing civilians with his air strikes.>> But the delegates shouted their support for Russia.
Reuters Dominic Evans says Moscow is looking to cement It's success on the battlefield.>> Well Russia has said for the last few months that it wants to scale down its military presence in Syria. That suggests it feels that the bulk of it's military contribution has already made. So it may well be looking now to support a political process that can bring some kind of stability.
And maybe entrench some of the gains that Assad has made with Russian supporting the last two years.>> In another set back, about 70 delegates, including members of the armed opposition, refused to leave Sochi Airport. Demanding that Syrian government flags and emblems be removed. They said they were waiting for a plane to take them back to Turkey while the leadership of the Syrian opposition boycotted the event.
>> Turkey has said it will represent the opposition in the talks in Sochi. That's one more indication, if you like, of how much the whole process has been taken over by outside powers, whether it's Turkey, whether it's Russia, whether it's Iran. And those international powers are the ones who are now shaping the future of Syria.
>> The United States, Britain and France also stayed away, accusing Damascus of refusing to engage. They support a separate UN peace process in Geneva that has so far yielded little progress on ending a war that's entering its eighth year. Russian officials have complained of sabotage and reduced what was billed as a two-day event to draft a new Syrian constitution down to just one.