Tehran, Moscow, Ankara to Expedite Constitutional Process in Syria

Tehran, Moscow, Ankara to Expedite Constitutional Process in SyriaTehran, Moscow, Ankara to Expedite Constitutional Process in Syria

The Russian Foreign Ministry announced on Wednesday that Ankara, Moscow and Tehran have agreed on accelerating the process of forming a Syrian constitutional committee to contribute to the peace process.
A written statement by the ministry said representatives from the guarantor countries of the Astana Process—Turkey, Russia and Iran—came together in Moscow to discuss the Syrian peace efforts, Daily Sabah reported on Thursday. 
In the meeting, senior officials of the three countries decided to expedite the process of forming a constitutional committee according to UN Security Council Resolution 2254, in coordination with United Nations Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura.  
Turkey's Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin, Russian President's Special Envoy to Syria Alexander Lavrentiev and the senior assistant to the Iranian foreign minister, Hossein Jaberi Ansari, attended the meeting. 
Apart from the formation of the Syrian Constitutional Committee, the decisions made at the Sochi conference were also discussed.

Sochi Deal 

Turkey and Russia struck a deal in Sochi on Sept. 17 to ward off a military offensive by the Syrian government on Idlib, the last major opposition stronghold in Syria and avoid a potential humanitarian crisis.
The deal set up a 15- to 20-kilometer-long demilitarized zone that was supposed to be cleansed of all heavy weapons. Opposition groups in Idlib will remain in areas where they are already present, while Russia and Turkey will carry out joint patrols in the area to prevent renewed fighting.
The guarantor states' meeting also coincided with de Mistura's visit to Damascus.
The UN envoy is expected to select 50 members for the Syrian Constitutional Committee by the end of this month, as his tenure as UN special envoy to Syria comes to an end at the end of November.
Last January, the final statement of a Sochi summit featured the idea of forming a constitutional committee. The committee's mission is to formulate constitutional reforms based on proposals by the government and opposition. 
The head of the Syrian opposition's negotiating team was expected to meet Russia's top diplomat in Moscow on Friday in preparation for peace talks in Istanbul this weekend.     
In an effort to contribute to the efforts to end the ongoing Syrian conflict, Turkey, Iran and Russia launched a process in the Kazakh capital Astana. 
Last year, the three guarantor countries agreed in Astana to establish de-escalation zones in the northern province of Idlib and parts of neighboring Latakia, Hama and Aleppo. 
Turkey, Russia and Iran argue the Astana process is not an alternative but a complementary effort to the United Nations-sponsored Geneva peace talks.

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints