The Russian President's Special Envoy to Syria Alexander Lavrentiev and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin discussed with the head of the Syrian regime, Bashar Assad, in Damascus Friday means to speed up the creation of a committee to discuss a post-war constitution for the country.
“Assad and the Russian envoy agreed to continue working and intensely coordinate between both sides on the next steps, especially in forming a committee for discussing the constitution and the mechanisms and procedures of its work,” said a statement issued by the Syrian presidency.
The official Syrian news agency, SANA, also said the two sides were in agreement on the need for them to continue working extensively and coordinating on the next steps to achieve the desired results in this framework, stressing the importance of not allowing the countries that are trying to prolong the war on Syria to hinder this process.
Lavrentiev’s visit came only two days after the Syrian government received UN envoy Geir Pedersen who discussed the formation of the constitutional committee in Damascus with Syria's Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem.
Syria and the UN envoy said there is "progress" towards forming the body, whose composition has dragged for more than 17 months.
On Friday, Assad and the Russian envoy also discussed the current military operation in the northwestern Idlib province, which is the last major opposition stronghold in Syria.
“The talks dealt with the latest developments in the war on terrorism and the recent terrorist attacks launched from Idlib against the surrounding safe areas, with the Russian side affirming its support for Syria in retaliating against these attacks and any provocations carried out by terrorists,” SANA said.
The Russian envoy informed Assad of the talks he held earlier in Ankara and Tehran in the run-up to the Astana format session set to take place in early August in Nur-Sultan, Russia’s TASS news agency said.
Sources said Moscow expects that the constitutional committee be officially announced by the end of this month.
The committee is to be made up of 150 members, 50 chosen by the regime, the same number by the opposition, and another 50 selected by the UN envoy.