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A man walks past destroyed buildings in Aleppo, Syria, in May 2016.
A man walks past destroyed buildings in Aleppo, Syria, in May 2016.

Syrian Government Welcomes Committee to Discuss Constitution

Syria says it would also discuss holding legislative elections afterward with the involvement of the United Nations and based on the UN Charter, which stipulates that the sovereignty of states and the peoples’ right to self-determination must be respecte

Syrian Government Welcomes Committee to Discuss Constitution

The Syrian government welcomes the formation of a committee that will discuss the current constitution and is expected to be formed at a congress to be convened by Russia in Sochi, Syrian state media said.
The congress marks a Russian effort to advance a political solution towards ending Syria’s six-year-long war that has killed hundreds of thousands of people and forced millions to flee in the worst refugee crisis since World War Two, Reuters reported.
UN-backed talks towards ending the conflict are due to resume in Geneva this week with the participation of the Syrian opposition to President Bashar al-Assad, who is militarily dominant in the conflict thanks to Russia and Iran.
A pro-Damascus newspaper, al-Watan, reported on Monday that the government delegation had postponed its travel to Geneva, saying Damascus was annoyed by the opposition’s insistence on its demand that Assad leave power at the start of a transition.
The UN's special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, said he hoped the warring factions would start a fresh round of negotiations "without preconditions" and within the framework of the UN Security Council's resolutions.
De Mistura announced earlier that he would press hard for "particular up-front attention on a new constitution and UN-supervised elections", two of the four baskets, which also include a non-sectarian transitional government and "counterterrorism" measures.
Discussions will also address the issue of detainees, abductees and missing persons, De Mistura said, along with the need for full humanitarian access in any besieged or hard-to-reach-areas, including eastern Ghouta.
In a statement from the Syrian Foreign Ministry, the Syrian government said it would attend the “national dialogue congress” at the Sochi talks, whose date has yet to be confirmed.
Syria welcomed “UN participation” in legislative elections to be held after the discussion of the constitution, state media cited a foreign ministry statement as saying.
The source went on to say that the committee would also discuss holding legislative elections afterward with the involvement of the United Nations and based on the UN Charter, which stipulates that the sovereignty of states and the peoples’ right to self-determination must be respected.
Russian President Vladimir Putin last week won the backing of Turkey and Iran last week to host the congress.
The congress would involve drawing up a framework for Syria's future structure, adopting a new constitution and holding elections under the UN supervision, Putin said at the time.

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