News ID: 220288
Published: 0208 GMT August 24, 2018

UN invites Iran, Russia, Turkey to talks on Syria’s Constitutional Committee

UN invites Iran, Russia, Turkey to talks on Syria’s Constitutional Committee
REUTERS

‘Tehran to host meeting on Syria’

UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura has invited Iran, Russia and Turkey to talks on Syria’s Constitutional Committee, to be held in Geneva on Sept. 11-12, a UN spokeswoman said on Friday.

The talks on forming a committee to draw up a new Constitution for Syria are expected to be followed by parallel UN talks involving countries including the United States, but she had no date for those.

Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura has been tasked with setting up a committee to write a new Constitution for the war-ravaged country.

The main foreign powers backing the project are Syrian government allies Russia and Iran, as well as Turkey, which supports some opposition groups. Representatives of the three nations will meet De Mistura over two days at the UN’s European headquarters in Geneva, spokeswoman Alessandra Vellucci told reporters.

De Mistura has said he wants to have the Constitutional Committee in place before world leaders meet at the General Assembly in New York in late September.

That will likely require further talks, including with the Syrian government, but Vellucci said she had no details of additional meetings next month.

De Mistura’s previous efforts to negotiate an end to the Syrian conflict have achieved no breakthroughs. More than 350,000 people have been killed and millions displaced since Syria’s war started in 2011.

Iran, Russia and Turkey also plan to hold a separate meeting in the Iranian capital, Tehran, which is a continuation of Astana negotiations on Syria.

Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin announced on Friday that the third meeting on Syria involving the leaders of Turkey, Russia and Iran was planned to take place in Tehran in the first week of September.

The date of the Tehran summit of the three countries involved in the Astana process will be announced soon, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters following talks with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu on Friday.

“The date has been determined and will be announced very soon,” Lavrov said, adding that “it is the prerogative of protocol services and presidential press services.”

“As for the meeting’s agenda, it will definitely include a package of issues,” the Russian top diplomat said.

The three countries are the guarantors of a countrywide cease-fire in Syria. They have been mediating a peace process since January 2016 among Syria’s warring sides in Astana, Kazakhstan.

Reuters and TASS contributed to this story.

 

 

 

   
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