Media sources affiliated with the Syrian regime are promoting the idea of holding a new round of meetings for the Constitutional Committee in Geneva. A source from the Syrian opposition delegation denied this to Enab Baladi, and explained the latest developments regarding the third round of meetings.
The local Al-Watan newspaper on Tuesday, quoted what it described as diplomatic sources as saying that there are international efforts to hold a new meeting for the small committee to discuss the Syrian constitution in Geneva before the end of this month.
The newspaper claimed that the United Nations proposed that the round be held on Mar. 22, 2020, and will last one week as usual.
The newspaper confirmed that the United Nations team and Special Envoy Geir Pedersen are working on setting an agenda, but so far he has not determined an answer from the opposition delegation, after the regime delegation presented its proposals to the Deputy Special Envoy, Khawla Matar, nearly two weeks ago.
It added that there is an international desire to hold a new round of negotiations, especially after the signing of the Moscow agreement regarding Idleb.
The opposition clarifies
A member of the Constitutional Committee in the opposition delegation, Riyad al-Hassan, confirmed that the opposition delegation had received the latest proposal through Pedersen and that the response to the proposal was also sent—contrary to what Al-Watan reported.
On Wednesday, Hassan told Enab Baladi that the matter was now in the hands of the regime, noting that what was happening now is an exact repetition of what happened in the second round of the Constitutional Committee, which failed due to the regime’s failure to present a proposal consistent with and abiding by the authority and mandate of the Constitutional Committee.
Hassan said that the regime’s delegation in the second round asked to discuss what it called “national pillars.“ In contrast, the opposition had presented five proposals that adhere to the committee’s authority.
Hassan said that the regime delegation’s proposal for the next round presented to the special envoy is no different from what the regime had done before in terms of derailing the Constitutional Committee at the heart of its work on the constitution, and moving towards insisting on discussing political issues unrelated to the constitution.
He pointed out that the opposition delegation informed Pedersen that such proposals, which fall outside the authority and mandate of the Constitutional Committee, should be rejected by the Special Envoy and the Secretary-General of the United Nations, and that there was no need to present them to the opposition delegation as an opportunity for the regime to promote its lies.
There is no date scheduled for a new round of the Constitutional Committee, according to Hassan, and the arrangements that were underway to hold the third round were canceled by the United Nations.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.