Rus­sia, Turkey, Iran fail in push for new Syr­ian con­sti­tu­tion

The Miracle - - National & Int - Source: al­

Rus­sia, Iran and Turkey, sup­port­ers of the main sides in Syria’s com­plex civil war, on Tues­day failed to agree on the makeup of a United Na­tions-spon­sored Syr­ian con­sti­tu­tional com­mit­tee but called for it to con­vene early next year to kick off a vi­able peace process. In a joint state­ment read out by Rus­sian For­eign Min­is­ter Sergey Lavrov after the trio met the UN Syria peace en­voy, Staffan de Mis­tura, in Geneva, they said the new ini­tia­tive should be guided “by a sense of com­pro­mise and con­struc­tive en­gage­ment”. The for­eign min­is­ters of the three na­tions had hoped to seal their joint pro­posal on a com­mit­tee - which could usher in elec­tions - and win UN bless­ing for it. But the state­ment by the three made no men­tion of the com­po­si­tion of the panel, point­ing to lin­ger­ing dis­agree­ment over lists of can­di­dates sub­mit­ted by Syr­ian Pres­i­dent Bashar al-As­sad and his rebel ad­ver­saries. The Syr­ian govern­ment, which is backed by Moscow and Tehran, has not yet agreed to the com­mit­tee, say­ing it will only sup­port a process that al­ters Syria’s ex­ist­ing con­sti­tu­tion. De Mis­tura, ad­dress­ing a sep­a­rate news con­fer­ence, made clear the three pow­ers had not nailed down a work­able po­lit­i­cal fo­rum yet, after years of abortive at­tempts at end­ing the bloody seven-year war. “I be­lieve there is an ex­tra mile to go in the marathon ef­fort to en­sure the nec­es­sary pack­age for a cred­i­ble, bal­anced and in­clu­sive con­sti­tu­tional com­mit­tee, and for in­clud­ing a bal­anced chair­ing ar­range­ment and draft­ing body and vot­ing thresh­old - to be es­tab­lished un­der UN aus­pices in Geneva,” he said. De Mis­tura, who will be re­placed as UN en­voy on Jan­uary 7, praised the “sig­nif­i­cant joint in­put” from the three pow­ers. The meet­ing marked a fi­nal mo­ment in his fouryear ten­ure, which did not pro­duce a break­through for peace.

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