Sochi Talks: Syria’s Constitutional Reform Committee Formed
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov delivers a speech during the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi
Islam Times - The Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Russia’s Sochi has agreed on a list of representatives to draft a new Syrian constitution, UN special envoy Staffan De Mistura said, adding that it contributed to the Geneva peace process.
“In your final declaration today you’ve embraced 12 principles, developed in the Geneva political process, which describes a vision of Syria, that all Syrians should be able to share," De Mistura said, addressing the Congress. "I also take note that those of you, who are here agree that a Constitutional Committee is to be formed, comprising the government of the Syrian Arab republic delegation along with a wide-represented opposition delegation for drafting a constitutional reform.”
The UN official said there was heated discussion during the Congress, but added it’s a completely normal occurrence during democratic negotiations.
The formation of the Constitutional Committee was a valuable contribution to “the political settlement under the UN auspices [and] in accordance with Security Council Resolution 2254,” he underlined.
The Constitutional Committee will also include delegates from those groups who did not attend the Sochi gathering for whatever reason, Russian FM Sergey Lavrov told reporters.
“Obviously, no one expected that it’ll be possible to gather representatives of absolutely all groups of the Syrian nation – both loyal to the government, neutral and opposition. The fact that two-three groups could not participate should not be seen as a tragedy,” Russia's top diplomat stated.
The two-day Sochi congress was sponsored by Russia, Turkey and Iran, the leaders of the three countries having agreed to the all-Syrian Congress in November.
Over 1,500 delegates, representing various groups of Syrian society, had been invited to participate in the talks. However, the Saudi Arabia-based High Negotiations Committee (HNC), an umbrella body created back in 2016 to represent some of the Syrian rebel groups at the Geneva talks, has decided to boycott the Congress, just days before its launch.
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