AA / Geneva / Bayram Altug
The Syrian Constitutional Committee has agreed to start drafting a constitutional reform, the UN special envoy for Syria announced on Sunday.
“The two co-chairs are now in agreement that we not only prepare a constitutional reform, but start drafting this reform,” Geir Pedersen told reporters in Geneva ahead of the committee’s sixth session, which is due to start on Monday. .
“So the novelty of this week is that we will indeed start a drafting process for constitutional reform in Syria,” he added.
The constitutional committee, made up of 45 members representing respectively the regime of Bashar al-Assad (15), the NGOs (15) and the Syrian opposition (15), met again in Geneva after an interruption of almost nine months.
Pedersen also said he had met with representatives of Bashar al-Assad’s regime, NGOs and the Syrian opposition separately on Sunday morning.
“But another very important meeting took place: for the first time the two Co-Chairs, one appointed by the government and the other by the opposition, sat down with me for a frank and in-depth discussion on how how we are going to carry out constitutional reform and, indeed, how we plan for the coming week, ”he added.
He said the drafting committee had met five times, but after the fifth meeting in January, he concluded that he “was not making enough progress”.
Asked by the Anadolu Agency about the number of additional meetings to be expected before this reform sees the light of day, he replied: “Very short answer to this question, I don’t know. We will see how the meeting goes this week and then you will know it. “
Alessandra Vellucci, head of the UN information service in Geneva, was also present at the meeting in Pedersen with Hadi Al Bahra, co-chair of the committee for the opposition, and Ahmad Nabil al-Kuzbari, co-chair for the regime, learned from the Anadolu Agency.
The committee meetings, which began in October 2019 with 150 members, are the first concrete step in drafting a new constitution to determine Syria’s future.
Syria has been mired in a brutal civil war since early 2011, when the al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.
Since then, more than 5 million civilians have been displaced.
* Translated from English by Mourad Belhaj
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