Syrian FM: No deadlines should be imposed on constitutional cmte.

A Syrian constitutional committee will draft a new constitution and "free and fair elections" will be held afterwards under the supervision of the United Nations.

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September 29, 2019 04:11
1 minute read.
UN Special Envoy for Syria meets with Russian, Turkish, Iran FMs in Geneva

UN Special Envoy for Syria de Mistura meets with Russian FM Lavrov, Turkish FM Cavusoglu and Iranian FM Zarif on forming a constitutional committee in Syria in Geneva. (photo credit: DENIS BALIBOUSE/REUTERS)

Syria's Foreign Minister Walid Muallem told the UN on Saturday that "no deadlines or timetables must be imposed" on a newly formed Syrian constitutional committee tasked with drafting a new constitution, according to France 24.

A Syrian constitutional committee will draft a new constitution and "free and fair elections" will be held afterwards under the supervision of the United Nations, announced the UN on Monday.

The committee, made up of 150 opposition, civil society and government members, has been finalized after almost two years of negotiations.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said in a statement that the "Syrian-owned and Syrian-led" committee will be facilitated by the UN in Geneva and thanked Russia, Turkey and Iran for their diplomatic efforts, according to The Washington Post.

Russia and Iran are allied with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while Turkey supports the opposition in Syria's civil war.

"The whole process should be owned and led by Syrians themselves who have the exclusive right of determining their country's future without any foreign intervention or interference," said Muallem. "No preconditions must be imposed on the committee, nor should its recommendations be prejudged."

"Our concern is Syrian rights, and if the regime’s concern is to hold on to the seat of power, no effort will lead to any solution," said Yahya al-Aridi, a spokesman for the opposition High Negotiations Committee, according to The Washington Post.

The Kurdish-led autonomous administration in northern and eastern Syria rejected the committee in a statement on Monday, saying, “The absence of any side means the absence of democracy in the constitution.”

Mohammed Khair Akkam, a Syrian lawmaker and a member of the government’s delegation to the Geneva talks, rejected the complaint, saying, “Those who are acting at the behest of the Americans do not get to complain about their lack of representation.”

The first meeting of the committee has been scheduled for October 30 in Geneva.


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