Syrian opposition to cooperate in constitution proposal under UN auspices

Syrian opposition to cooperate in constitution proposal under UN auspices [Photo: Media Outlets]
Syria’s opposition will cooperate with proposals made at a Russia-hosted conference this week to rewrite the country’s constitution as long as the process remains under U.N. auspices, the chief opposition negotiator said on Thursday, Reuters reported.
Participants at Tuesday’s meeting in the Black Sea resort of Sochi in Russia – which is a powerful supporter of President Bashar al-Assad – agreed to set up a committee to change the Syrian constitution, and called for democratic elections, Reuters added.
The main Syrian opposition negotiating group had boycotted the gathering, while the United States, Britain and France also stayed away because of what they said was the Syrian government’s refusal to properly engage, according to Reuters.
However, chief opposition negotiator Nasr Hariri said the Syrian Negotiation Commission would “work positively” with the proposed committee because responsibility for setting it up had been handed to the U.N. Syria envoy, Staffan de Mistura, Reuters also explained.
“If the constitutional committee is set up… within the U.N. process in Geneva, strictly consistent with U.N. resolution 2254, yes we will continue to work with the U.N. process in this regard,” he told a news conference.
Damascus welcomed the results of the Sochi meeting, according to Reuters.
“The final statement of the conference confirmed the consensus of Syrians on … preserving the sovereignty and unity of Syrian territory and people, and the exclusive right of the Syrian people to choose their own political and economic system,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
It made no mention of the decision to set up a committee to rewrite the constitution or the call for democratic elections, Reuters said.

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