Sochi congress agrees to set up Syrian constitutional commission
01 February, 2018, 00:36 | Author: Dustin Murphy
The UN special envoy for the Syria crisis, Staffan de Mistura, was upbeat on Tuesday about the outcome of the just concluded intra-Syria talks in Sochi, Russia, hailing an agreement on the formation of a committee to be tasked to draft a new constitution for the war-torn country.
To that end, the delegates agreed on 12 principles that lay the foundation of a political settlement in Syria, concerning sovereignty and territorial integrity, non-intervention, autonomous right, equality, national unity, public reform, military building, combating terrorism, human rights, national identity, eliminating poverty and heritage preservation, according to the final statement. "We are not trying to look into the future now. I have also noted that in accordance with the final statement, the Congress supported the list of representatives for the constitutional committee", de Mistura said.
"Staffan de Mistura has all the powers needed, given by the Resolution 2254".
The main Syrian opposition body - the High Negotiation Committee - has boycotted the conference following two days of UN-led peace talks in Vienna last week.
Organisers of the Sochi congress meant to bring together Syrians of all stripes to hammer out a new post-war constitution.
The establishment of de-escalation zones was agreed to in May between Turkey, which backs groups opposed to Syria's Bashar Assad regime, and Russian Federation and Iran, who support the regime. He pointed out that unlike the recent Group of Five (France, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom and US) meeting in Paris, the Sochi platform was open to all to participate in and included "observers from all permanent UN Security Council members, all Syria's neighbor states, from other Arab countries and Kazakhstan as a host country". Afterwards, they gave Turkey the authority to represent it at the summit, said the sources.
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