Russia’s delegation led by Presidential Special Envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentyev and Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin discussed in Tehran with Secretary of the Iranian Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani the plans to launch Syria’s Constitutional Committee in Geneva.
“The sides discussed the goals of establishing and launching the Constitutional Committee in Geneva as soon as possible. They also hashed over issues of preparing for the upcoming trilateral summit in the Astana format [Russia, Turkey and Iran]. An exchange of views was held on a range of issues related to the developments in Syria and in the Middle East region,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Sunday.
The decision to set up a constitutional committee was agreed on at the Syrian National Dialogue Congress, held in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi on January 30, 2018. The committee that would work on the country’s new constitution is supposed to include representatives of the Syrian government and opposition, as well as civil society members. However, nearly a year after the decision was announced, the committee has not yet been created. Former UN Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said that not more than 50 people should become the committee’s members.
Earlier, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said the UN did not set any timeframes for launching the committee, while expressing hope that its work would begin soon. However, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned that it’s impossible to delay the committee’s establishment indefinitely.