Syr­ian gov­ern­ment re­jects Un-led com­mit­tee to al­ter Con­sti­tu­tion

Iran Daily - - International -

Syria’s gov­ern­ment on Tues­day re­jected ef­forts led by the United Na­tions to form a com­mit­tee to rewrite Syria’s Con­sti­tu­tion. “As a state, we are not bound by, nor have any re­la­tions with, any com­mit­tee that is not Syr­ian formed, led and con­sti­tuted,” said Ay­man Sous­san, an as­sis­tant to the Syr­ian For­eign Min­is­ter, at a press con­fer­ence in Da­m­as­cus, Reuters wrote.

“We are not bound by any­thing that is formed by for­eign sides, what­ever their name or state, we are not bound by it and it is of no con­cern to us,” he added.

Par­tic­i­pants at the Sochi con­gress, which was hosted by Rus­sia, agreed on Jan­uary 30 to set up the con­sti­tu­tional com­mit­tee in Geneva, and to hold elec­tions in Syria.

UN Syria Spe­cial En­voy for Syria Staffan de Mis­tura said at Sochi that he would de­cide the cri­te­ria for com­mit­tee mem­bers and se­lect about 50 peo­ple from gov­ern­ment, op­po­si­tion and in­de­pen­dent groups.

The main op­po­si­tion ne­go­ti­at­ing group, which boy­cotted the Sochi meet­ing, said after­wards that it would co­op­er­ate with the for­ma­tion of a con­sti­tu­tional com­mit­tee so long as it would be un­der UN aus­pices.

Syria’s gov­ern­ment said at the time that it wel­comed the re­sults of the Sochi meet­ing, but it made no men­tion then of the con­sti­tu­tional com­mit­tee or call for elec­tions.

“De Mis­tura is a fa­cil­i­ta­tor and not a me­di­a­tor or a stand-in for other par­ties,” Sous­san said on Tues­day.

Nine rounds of Un-spon­sored peace talks, most of them in Geneva, have failed to end Syria’s for­eign­spon­sored war which has killed hun­dreds of thou­sands of peo­ple and driven mil­lions from their homes.

Rus­sia has pushed a par­al­lel diplo­matic process to help re­solve the cri­sis.

Rus­sia, Iran and Tur­key hoped the talks in Sochi could com­pen­sate for lack of progress in Un-bro­kered talks to end Syria’s seven-year war.

Par­tic­i­pants at­tend a ses­sion of the Syr­ian Con­gress of Na­tional Di­a­logue in the Black Sea re­sort of Sochi, Rus­sia, on Jan­uary 30, 2018. AFP

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