Iran’s Syria negotiator talks constitution, election with Assad

December 17, 2018

TEHRAN – Iran’s Syria negotiator Hossein Jaberi Ansari on Sunday evening met with President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus.

Top on the agenda of the meeting was the process of setting up a committee to draft a constitution for Syria.

Jaberi Ansari’s trip came a day after he hosted Russian president’s special envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentiev.

The two diplomats preside over Iran and Russia’s delegations in the Astana talks on Syria.

The upcoming talks will focus on the committee to draft a new Syrian constitution and usher in elections.

On Friday, a UN statement said the United Nations special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura will hold talks with senior officials from Iran, Russia and Turkey, as guarantors of the Syria peace process in Geneva this week.

According to the statement, talks among the UN diplomat and high-level officials from the three countries will focus on setting up a "credible, balanced, and inclusive" committee to draft a new constitution for Syria and hold elections.

It added that the meeting will take place ahead of de Mistura's monthly presentation to the UN Security Council set for December 20.

Late in November, the guarantor states of the Astana peace process ended their 11th round of talks in the Kazakh capital, reiterating their strong commitment to Syria's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Iran, Russia and Turkey also rejected "all desperate attempts" by foreign-backed militant groups to undermine the sovereignty of the Syrian nation.

At the end of the tenth round of the two-day international meeting on Syria in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on July 31, Tehran, Moscow and Ankara expressed their firm determination to counter any plot aimed at partitioning the Arab country.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran, the Russian Federation and the Republic of Turkey confirmed their strong adherence to the sovereignty, independence, unity, and territorial integrity of Syria," Russia’s Lavrentiev said while reading a joint statement issued by representatives of the three countries.

The Astana talks have so far resulted in the return of a succession of militant bastions to the government fold, the establishment of safe zones across Syria and the movement of civilians to those regions.

SP/PA

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