Assistant holds talks with UN Syria envoy

September 26, 2020 - 20:51

TEHRAN – Ali-Asghar Khaji, a senior assistant to Iranian foreign minister in special political affairs, spoke by phone with UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir O. Pedersen on Syria-related issues, including the activities of a committee that is tasked with drafting a new constitution for Syria.

During the Saturday talks, the two sides exchanged views on the political process and activities of the Syrian Constitutional Committee, according to the Iranian Foreign Ministry.

In a statement on Saturday, the Foreign Ministry said Khaji and Pedersen “underlined the promotion of political dialogue and the continued work of the Constitutional Committee within the framework of respecting the country's national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

Over the past few months, the two officials held at least three telephone conversations on Syria including a phone call in mid-September during which they highlighted the need to move forward with the political process and the Syrian Constitutional Committee. Two days after his conversation with Khaji, Pedersen briefed the UN Security Council on his efforts to resolve the Syrian crisis.

“The discussions within the Committee were mostly substantive and on the agreed agenda. The Co-Chairs told me that they sensed that some common ground was emerging on some subjects. There were practical suggestions from members on how to identify such common ground and how the discussion could move forward. I was very pleased with this,” the UN Syria envoy told the Security Council on September 18. Pedersen added, “This said, there were very real differences on substance even at the quite general level of the discussions. And the Co-Chairs were not, as I had hoped, able to agree while in Geneva on an agenda for the next session. We need a proposed agenda if the Committee is to meet.”

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