Russia Suggests Transitional Government Including Khatib, Jamil

A conference in Moscow is being prepared in coordination between the Russian Foreign Ministry, the Egyptian authorities and the United Nations Special Envoy to Syria

It has now become almost certain that Russia will invite the Syrian government and parts of the opposition to a dialogue table in Moscow, under the title Moscow I, instead of a Geneva III conference.


According to reports from Moscow, the conference is being prepared in coordination with the Russian Foreign Ministry, the Egyptian authorities and the United Nations Special Envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura.


Two delegations will be invited to the dialogue in the Russian capital. The first includes the Syrian government delegation, headed by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem, while the second includes some opposition figures, such as the former president of the Syrian National Coalition, Moaz al-Khatib, and head of People's Will Party and former deputy Prime Minister, Qadri Jamil. A number of figures who defected from the Coalition, in addition to the Coordination Commission and the (Syrian Kurdish) Democratic Union Party, headed by Saleh Muslim, whose units are fighting against ISIS in the north and east of Syria, will also be invited.


According to the U.N. and other Russian sources, the agenda for the dialogue to be held between the two delegations includes the formation of a transitional government in Syria with wide powers, but with the survival of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's authority over the military and security institutions.


The government will include representatives of the regime and opposition figures, like Khatib and Jamil, but the prime minister will be a "non-provocative" figure.


The government's mission will be the formation of constituent body, either elected or appointed, that will amend radically amend the Syrian constitution.


After nearly two years of the formation of the transitional government, parliamentary elections will take place, and then the presidential elections, for which Assad can nominate himself.


International sources see that the Syrian president would agree to this initiative, but that what is needed is to convince its ally, Iran. Syrian sources deny this, stressing that the dialogue between Moscow and Damascus in this regard has not finished.


Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer



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