Iran, Russia, Turkey back Syria constitutional body

December 18, 2018

TEHRAN – The foreign ministers of Russia, Iran and Turkey said on Tuesday that a new Syrian Constitutional Committee should convene early next year, kicking off a viable political peace process.

In a joint statement read out by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov after the trio met UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura in Geneva, they said that the work of the new body “should be governed by a sense of compromise and constructive engagement,” Reuters reported.

The meeting between the foreign ministers of the three countries, who launched the Astana peace process to end the Syrian conflict, and the UN diplomat could pave the way for the drafting of a new constitution and for elections after a nearly eight-year-old devastating war in Syria.

The UN-backed constitutional committee will include 50 members chosen by Damascus, 50 by the opposition and 50 by the United Nations.

Meanwhile, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has asked Iran and Russia to “stop the interference of some Western states” as Syria is setting up a committee tasked with negotiating a new post-war constitution.

Assad stressed the importance of “efforts exerted by the friendly and allied countries of Syria, particularly Iran and Russia” as he met Hossein Jaberi Ansari, a senior adviser to the Iranian foreign minister, in Damascus on Sunday. 

SP/PA

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