GENEVA: The foreign ministers of Russia, Iran and Turkey said on Tuesday that a new Syrian Constitutional Committee should convene early next year, kicking off a viable political peace process.
In a joint statement read out by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov after the trio met UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura, they said that the work of the new body "should be governed by a sense of compromise and constructive engagement".UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura said after talks with Russia, Iran, and Turkey that "there is an extra mile to go" in the "marathon effort" to ensure a credible, balanced and inclusive constitutional committee for Syria.
De Mistura, addressing a news conference, said that he would report to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday and to the Security Council on Thursday and expected his successor Geir Pedersen to build on his work from Jan 7.
"There is still an extra mile to go, but we do certainly appreciate the intensive work that has been done," he said.
Russia's foreign minister said the foreign ministers of Russia, Iran and Turkey have agreed to facilitate convening the first session of a committee to draft a new Syrian constitution early next year.
Sergey Lavrov spoke in Geneva following consultations with the foreign ministers of Iran and Turkey.
He says the three leaders hope the steps will lead to the launch of a "viable and lasting Syrian-led, Syrian-owned and UN-facilitated political process."
The 150-member committee is intended to represent the government, the opposition and civil society and is seen by the UN as key to holding free elections and ending the seven-year civil war.The UN Syria envoy was authorised to put together such a committee at a Russian-hosted peace conference in Sochi on Jan 30.
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