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Guterres announces an agreement for the creation of the constitutional committee in Syria

September 23, 2019

He says he will be “credible, balanced and inclusive” and will be “facilitated” by the UN in Geneva


The Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, announced on Monday an agreement between the Government of Syria and the opposition to form a “credible, balanced and inclusive” constitutional committee that “will be facilitated” by the UN in Geneva.

“I applaud the progress made by the Government and the opposition,” he said, before adding that the UN special envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen, “will convene the constitutional committee in the coming weeks.”

He also stressed that “strongly believes” that “the launch of a constitutional committee led and owned by the Syrians can and should be the beginning of a political path to get out of the tragedy and move towards a solution in line with resolution 2254” .

Guterres has said that he believes that this route must “satisfy” the “legitimate aspirations of all Syrians” and “be based on a firm commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the country.”

“The implementation and work of the constitutional committee must be accompanied by concrete actions to build trust,” he said, while applauding the role of Russia, Turkey and Iran “in supporting the conclusion of the agreement.”

Guterres' words have come shortly after Pedersen claimed to have had a “very positive” meeting with the Syrian Foreign Minister, Ualid al Muallem, to address the fringes on the formation of the body.

Al Muallem, who is also deputy prime minister of the Arab country, has confirmed that the talks with Pedersen have been “very positive and constructive,” as reported by the Syrian state news agency, SANA.

Pedersen has also revealed that he has been in contact this Monday with the leader of the Syrian Negotiating Commission, Naser Hariri. “I have had very positive discussions with him,” he said in a brief statement. “I will inform the Secretary General (of the UN) about my discussions,” he added.

The president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, already announced last week that the composition of the constitutional committee that will draw up a draft new Magna Carta for Syria, was already “completely defined.”

The committee, considered as a key element in the face of a political agreement that ends the conflict that broke out in 2011, will be made up of 150 people –50 appointed by the Government, 50 by the opposition and 50 others chosen by the envoy of the UN–.