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UN Secretary-General announces formation of Syria’s Constitutional Committee

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Monday announced the creation of the Syrian Constitutional Committee, and also expressed appreciation to Russia, Turkey and Iran for their work in this area.

“I am pleased to announce an agreement between the Syrian government and the Syrian negotiation committee to create a balanced, credible and inclusive Constitutional Committee,” he told reporters. “He will meet in Geneva in the coming weeks,” the administrative head of the world organization added. According to Guterres, “the creation of a committee can and should be the beginning of a political path to a settlement.” As he emphasized, “this should be accompanied by concrete actions to build confidence” between the parties.

“I am grateful to the governments of Russia, Turkey and Iran for the efforts in the field of diplomacy to assist in concluding this agreement,” he said. “I also appreciate the support from the member states of the Security Council and the small group (Great Britain, Germany, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, USA and France). ” At the same time, Guterrish refused to answer questions from journalists.

Guterrish announced on September 18 that the Syrian Constitutional Committee would begin work soon. On September 9, the special envoy of the President of the Russian Federation for the Middle East and African countries, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said that the formation of the Syrian Constitutional Committee should be completed in September. The UN Special Envoy Geir Pedersen spoke about the same terms.

The decision to create this body to make recommendations on amendments to the constitution of the republic was made on January 31, 2018 in Sochi at the Syrian National Dialogue Congress. According to the plan of Staffan de Mistura, the predecessor of Pedersen, the committee should include 150 people (respectively 50 delegates from Damascus, the opposition and civil societies). Each group should appoint 15 experts to participate in meetings that will be held in Geneva behind closed doors.

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