Syrian constitutional committee will replace bullets with dialogue: ex-diplomat

November 2, 2019

TEHRAN - Ahmad Dastmalchian, Iran’s former ambassador to Lebanon, has said that the Syrian constitutional committee is very important, because it will replace bullets with dialogue.

In an interview with IRNA published on Saturday, he said, “Initiative of the Astana talks which was created by Iran, Russia, and Turkey to settle the Syrian crisis shows that multilateralism can be an important basis for peace, diplomacy, and dialogue.”

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced the formation of the constitutional committee on September 23.

The Syrian constitutional committee met on Wednesday for the first time under UN auspices to chart a political settlement to end the eight-and-a-half-year civil war.

The meeting in Geneva is being overseen by the UN special envoy for Syria Geir Pederson.

The first meeting the committee, composed of government and opposition members as well as civil society, is a step forward in what the United Nations says will be a long road to political rapprochement.

Mohammad Javad Zarif, Sergey Lavrov, and Mevlut Cavusoglu, respectively the foreign ministers of Iran, Russia, and Turkey issued a joint statement on Tuesday reaffirming commitment to Syria’s territorial integrity and supporting the work of the constitutional committee.

The statement was issued after a trilateral meeting with Pedersen in Geneva.

Part of the statement said Iran, Russia and Turkey “welcomed the formation the Constitutional Committee and its convening in Geneva on 30 October 2019 as a result of the decisive contribution of the Astana guarantors and the implementation of the decisions of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi and appreciated in this regard the efforts of the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Syria.” 

The sides also “reaffirmed their determination to support the work of the Constitutional Committee through continuous interaction with the Syrian parties and the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Syria in order to ensure its sustainable and effective work.”

NA/PA

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