UN envoy speaks of solid progress after meetings in Syria

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The UNs special envoy for Syria said “solid progress” was made following talks with officials in the Syrian capital Wednesday, adding that talks are “very close to an agreement” on establishing a constitutional committee.

Geir Pedersen spoke to reporters following two meetings with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem in Damascus. He did not elaborate or offer details about the committees formation and whether a breakthrough had been reached.

Formation of the committee, which is expected to be tasked with drafting a new constitution for Syria, is seen as key to any political process to end the countrys long-running war that has killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced millions.

The UN hopes that convening the constitutional committee under the organizations auspices would be the first step toward a new constitution and new elections. The committee would be equally split between representatives chosen by the Syrian government, the Syrian opposition, and civil society.

Pedersen has described it as a “door opener for a wider political process.”

However, Syrian officials have said they will not accept outside dictates when it comes to Syrias constitution and have suggested President Bashar Assad might even run for re-election.

The more than yearlong effort to form the 150-member committee has been dogged by objections from Syrias government overRead More – Source

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