Geir Pedersen, the UN’s special envoy for Syria, has put forth a draft agreement designed to promote progress at the next round of talks on Syria’s constitution in Geneva. Copies of the proposed plan were sent to the two co-chairs of the Syrian Constitutional Committee (SCC), Ahmad Kuzbari, who represents the Syrian government, and Hadi Albahra from the opposition.
The envoy’s initiative comes at a time when Russia, a key ally of the Syrian regime, is pressing for holding the sixth round of the SCC talks right after Ramadan and presidential elections in the war-torn country are over.
For Pedersen, Moscow’s current interest in convening the sixth round of the SCC talks can help induce a breakthrough in efforts for finding a new settlement and drafting a new constitution for the Levantine country.
Hoping to capitalize on Russia’s current interest, Pedersen is pushing for a written agreement between regime and opposition delegations at the SCC. On April 15, the UN envoy sent a draft agreement, which Asharq Al-Awsat obtained a copy of in both English and Arabic, to each of Kuzbari and al-Bahra.
Titled the “Proposed methodology for the Sixth Session of the Constitutional Committee Small Body,” the document stressed that the SCC was established and given power by an agreement between the Syrian government and the opposition’s High Negotiations Commission (HNC).
It also highlighted that the SCC “operates in accordance with the Terms of Reference and Core Rules of Procedure, as was also confirmed in the Code of Conduct.”
In the proposal, Pedersen presented a five-point plan for the next round of talks.
He requested that written proposals for basic principles be included in the draft constitution be submitted by both the government and opposition delegations before heading to Geneva for negotiations.
According to Pedersen’s plan, at least one principle would be discussed at each meeting held by the SCC’s Small Body throughout days 1-4 of the sixth round of talks.
This article was 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.