The Saudi Arabian regime has come under fire for derailing efforts to restore peace in war torn Syria while it continues to provide support to terrorist groups in the country.Russia has slammed the Saudi Arabian monarchy for attempting to highjack the Syrian peace process by calling an emergency gathering of the so - called Friends of Syria group in the Saudi capital of Riyadh on December 11. The opposition factions that met in Riyadh under the patronage of the Saudi regime advocate the ousting of the legitimated government of Syria led by President Bashar Assad. The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. The group “is well known for its adherence to the obsolete idea of ousting the lawful government in Damascus, ” the statement said. " We cannot agree with an attempt made by the group that gathered in Riyadh to monopolize the right to speak on behalf of the entire Syrian opposition, " said the foreign ministry in Moscow. Russia had said it would confirm whether next week ' s planned meeting of the 17 nations of the International Syrian Support Group could go ahead after the rebel talks. Moscow also said the talks did not include members of the so - called " patriotic Syrian opposition " seen as friendly towards Assad. Russia noted that the said the negotiations were attended by terrorist groups such as the Saudi - backed Jaish al - Islam or the so - called Army of Islam terrorist group and the Ahrar al - Sham terrorist group which was involved in an attack on the Russian embassy in Damascus. " We are still convinced that terrorists of all stripes should be excluded from the political process in Syria, " the foreign ministry said, adding it was up to UN peace envoy Staffan de Mistura to bring together various representatives of the opposition. Moscow said it was ready to continue work within the framework of the International Syrian Support Group but stressed political transition in the war - torn country should begin without preconditions. " All members of the International Syrian Support Group signed up to the key principle: only the Syrian people can decide the fate of Syria, " the foreign ministry said.Recommended:Syria rebels to meet in Saudi ArabiaRussia ' s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov previously berated Saudi Arabia on deciding the fate of Syria. “Is Saudi Arabia authorized to decide who will represent the Syrian people? ” Lavrov said last month in Vienna, where countries had gathered to discuss a solution for the 5 year conflict in Syria. “You can refer to the text of the last meeting…. Syrians are who decide the fate of their country, including Assad’s fate, ” Lavrov added, directing his statement at Saudi foreign minister Adel al - Jubair. Meanwhile President Assad said in an interview with the Spanish EFE news agency published on Friday that Damascus is in principle ready to engage in talks with the opponents, but such talks should involve “the real, patriotic, national opposition that has grassroots in Syria, ” and not those related to any other state or regime in the world. Damascus would not negotiate with terrorists, the Syrian president said. A senior Iranian diplomat said groups linked to ISIS terrorists were involved in the Riyadh talks and that Tehran did not approve of the meeting. " Some of the terrorist groups linked to ISIS are involved in the talks. These terrorist groups will not be allowed to decide Syria ' s future, " Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir - Abdollahian said. Two rounds of international talks on the conflict in Syria have been held in Vienna on October 30 and November 14. Amir - Abdollahian said, " We do not approve of the Riyadh meeting. It is not in line with the Vienna talks. " Meanwhile rifts overshadowed the meeting in Riyadh with the chairman of the conference announcing on Friday the groups had agreed to meet the Syria government next month for talks on ending nearly five years of conflict. The announcement came after a major terrorist group, Ahrar al - Sham, withdrew from the meeting, exposing enduring divisions among foreign - backed terrorists and casting doubt on the significance of any pledges made at the conference. Saudi officials said more than 100 members of opposition groups from inside and outside Syria took part in the two - day meeting, which began Wednesday. A Syrian Kurdish group that has taken control of areas in north Syria said it has not been invited to the Riyadh meeting. The Kurds, however, organized a separate meeting in Syria’s Hasakah Province. Saudi Arabia is a main supporter of brutal terrorist groups, fighting to topple the legitimate government of President Bashar al - Assad.This article originally appeared onAlwaght. com