The Syrian opposition announced it rejected the decision by Sochi participants to form a committee on constitutional reform, meanwhile calling for a cease-fire and for sending humanitarian aid to besieged areas to serve the Geneva political process.
The Syrian National Dialogue conference in the Russian city of Sochi concluded its proceedings on Tuesday with an agreement to form a “committee to formulate constitutional reform” in order to contribute to a political solution under United Nations supervision.
During a press conference in the Turkish city of Istanbul, the head of the opposition High Negotiations Committee, Nasr al-Hariri, said: “We will not accept the formation of a constitutional committee in Sochi, as Syria needs a new constitution.”
He stressed the need for “this conference [Sochi] to happen one time without turning into a track parallel to or conflicting with the Geneva track [under U.N. supervision].”
He called for “any outcomes of the conference to be in conformity with the [U.N.] Security Council Resolution 2254.”
“Russia’s intentions became clear after the heavy and intense escalation [in Syria] which has killed dozens of civilians,” he added.
Hariri said: “We are committed to what the international resolution stipulated and we welcome any ideas which strengthen this track, and we welcome the confirmation of all countries including Russia of the reference of Resolution 2254 and the urgent need to implement it.”
He continued, saying: “There must be a transition stage led by a fully empowered transitional executive governing body … and we cannot start the election process without providing a safe elections stage ensuring voters go to the ballot box with complete freedom.”
Hariri also called for “the need to release a first batch of prisoners to confirm the seriousness and commitment of all [parties] to the political process.”
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.