The ninth round of meetings of the Syrian Constitutional Committee in Geneva at the end of July was postponed, according to the statement of the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Syria, Geir Pedersen.
“Mr. Geir Pedersen regrets that the ninth session of the Syrian-led, Syrian-owned, UN-assisted constitutional committee can no longer be held in Geneva from July 25th to 29th, 2022,” the statement said.
According to Pedersen, it is essential that all parties involved in the Syrian settlement protect this process from “their differences in other parts of the world.”
While the reasons for postponing the ninth round were not specified, the committee’s co-chairman, Hadi al-Bahra, spoke of “requests from Moscow.”
Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency linked the postponement to recent statements by Russia’s presidential envoy to Syria, Alexander Lavrentiev, in a report published on Saturday.
“It has become difficult for Russian representatives to work in Geneva, the venue for meetings of the Syrian Constitutional Committee,” Lavrentiev said on June 16th.
“The issue of choosing a new venue for meetings of the Syrian Constitutional Committee is not technical or logistical, but more political, given Switzerland’s hostile policy,” he said.
At the time, the Russian official noted that his country had proposed moving constitutional committee meetings to Abu Dhabi, Muscat, and Manama. Algeria was also a possible destination and the Kazakh capital, Nur-Sultan.
The transfer of the meetings was due to the sanctions imposed by Switzerland on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.
On Saturday, Iran’s top assistant foreign minister, Ali Asghar Khaji, telephoned the UN Secretary-General’s special envoy to Syria, Geir Pedersen, to discuss the latest developments in Syria.
Khaji’s call came hours after Pedersen announced postponing the ninth round of constitutional committee meetings.
Khaji reiterated Tehran’s position against Western sanctions against the Syrian regime. He called for increasing and accelerating the transfer of humanitarian aid throughout Syria in a fair and balanced manner without discrimination and political preconditions.
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.