News ID: 235997
Published: 0640 GMT December 17, 2018

UN Syria envoy set to host top diplomats from Iran, Russia, Turkey this week

UN Syria envoy set to host top diplomats from Iran, Russia, Turkey this week

United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura is set to host top diplomats from Iran, Russia and Turkey, as guarantors of the Syria peace process, in Geneva this week.

De Mistura’s office said Monday that the talks scheduled for December 18 would likely be one of his last meetings with high-level officials from the three countries as the veteran UN diplomat is due to step down in the coming days.

A spokesperson from Sergei Lavrov’s office said that the Russian foreign minister would attend the meeting. A Turkish diplomatic source also confirmed that Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu would be in Geneva along with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif.

The UN did not immediately confirm the list of attendees, Presstv Reported.

The UN said in a statement issued Friday that the talks among the UN diplomat and high-level officials would focus on setting up a "credible, balanced, and inclusive" committee to draft a new constitution for Syria and usher in elections.

Following a round of talks in Geneva in September, Russian President’s Special Representative for Syria Alexander Lavrentyev said the guarantor states of the Syria peace process had reached a consensus with the UN on candidates for the country’s constitutional committee.

Even if the committee is finally established, analysts say the task of discussing a post-war constitution will be difficult.

The Syrian government has repeatedly said that it would only agree with some alteration to the current constitution, whereas the opposition is pushing for an entirely new constitution.

So far, 11 rounds of Syria peace talks, mediated by Iran, Russia and Turkey, have been held in Astana. The 10th round of the discussions took place in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi back in July 30-31

Late in November, the guarantor states of the Astana peace process ended their 11th round of talks in the Kazakh capital, reiterating their strong commitment to Syria's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The Astana talks, which have brought representatives from Syria’s warring parties to the negotiating table, have so far resulted in the return of a succession of militant bastions to the government fold, the establishment of safe zones across Syria and the movement of civilians to those regions.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The Syrian government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri terrorist groups wreaking havoc in the country.

   
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