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Syrian government rejects UN-led committee to alter Constitution

(Web Desk) – Syria’s government on Tuesday rejected efforts led by the United Nations to form a committee to rewrite Syria’s Constitution.

“As a state, we are not bound by, nor have any relations with, any committee that is not Syrian formed, led and constituted,” said Ayman Soussan, an assistant to the Syrian Foreign Minister, at a press conference in Damascus, Reuters wrote.

“We are not bound by anything that is formed by foreign sides, whatever their name or state, we are not bound by it and it is of no concern to us,” he added.

Participants at the Sochi congress, which was hosted by Russia, agreed on January 30 to set up the constitutional committee in Geneva, and to hold elections in Syria.

UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura said at Sochi that he would decide the criteria for committee members and select about 50 people from government, opposition and independent groups.

The main opposition negotiating group, which boycotted the Sochi meeting, said afterwards that it would cooperate with the formation of a constitutional committee so long as it would be under UN auspices.

Syria’s government said at the time that it welcomed the results of the Sochi meeting, but it made no mention then of the constitutional committee or call for elections.

“De Mistura is a facilitator and not a mediator or a stand-in for other parties,” Soussan said on Tuesday.

Nine rounds of UN-sponsored peace talks, most of them in Geneva, have failed to end Syria’s foreign-sponsored war which has killed hundreds of thousands of people and driven millions from their homes.

Russia has pushed a parallel diplomatic process to help resolve the crisis.

Russia, Iran and Turkey hoped the talks in Sochi could compensate for lack of progress in UN-brokered talks to end Syria’s seven-year war.

 

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