Syrian President discusses constitutional committee with Russian delegation

Syrian President Bashra al-Assad has discussed formation of constitutional committee with a delegation of senior Russian officials in the capital Damascus.
Publish date : Monday 5 November 2018 09:46
Code: 374492
 
According to a statement released by the Syrian Presidency Office on Sunday, the Syrian leader met with Russian special envoy to Syria Alexander Lavrentiev and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Verchinen at the Presidential Palace in Damascus earlier in the day.

President Assad held talks with Lavrentiev on “forming the committee to discuss the current constitution”, the statement said, adding that they agreed “to continue joint Syrian-Russian work towards removing the obstacles still in the way of forming this committee.”

Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel held a quadrilateral summit on Syria in the Turkish city of Istanbul and called for the committee to be formed by the end of the year to discuss a post-war constitution, “paving the way for free and fair elections” in the war-torn country.

The committee is expected to include 150 members: 50 chosen by Damascus, 50 by the opposition and the final 50 by the United Nations' outgoing envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura. It will also include civil society representatives, religious and tribal leaders, experts and women.

The UN-prepared list has already been rejected by Damascus, which is to draw up its own list, along with Russia, Iran and Turkey, according to the envoy.

Even if the committee is finally established, analysts say the task of discussing a post-war constitution will be difficult.

The Syrian government has repeatedly said that it would only agree with some alteration to the current constitution, whereas the opposition is pushing for an entirely new constitution.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The Syrian government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri terrorist groups wreaking havoc in the country.

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