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Syria Kurds Urge Moscow to Return Damascus to Constitutional Committee

Syria Kurds Urge Moscow to Return Damascus to Constitutional Committee

Wednesday, 1 January, 2020 - 11:30
A sign is pictured during the first meeting of the new Syrian Constitutional Committee at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, October 30, 2019. (Reuters)

Kurdish members of the Syrian Constitutional Committee urged Moscow to exert pressure on Damascus to get it involved in its activities. The regime delegation has been blamed for hindering progress during the latest meetings of the committee that were held in Geneva.

Gabriel Moushe Gawrieh, a member of the High Negotiations Committee (HNC) at the Constitutional Committee, said that the former had seriously committed to the committee meetings that are aimed at drafting a new constitution that meets the aspirations of the Syrian people.

During the first sessions and mini committee meetings, the panel presented several suggestions and showed keenness on the process and its continuity.

Gawrieh, who is also the head of the political branch of the Assyrian Democratic Organization, said the regime delegation avoided constitutional topics.

Moreover, he accused the delegation of reluctantly attending the meeting after coming under Russian pressure following months of stalling.

Gawrieh urged Moscow to exert pressure on the regime to bring it back to the negotiations. He also called on powerful parties in the international community to push the regime to halt its attempts to undermine the talks at the Constitutional Committee.

The body is compromised 150 people, split three ways between the regime, opposition and civil society with each side selecting 15 people to prepare and draft constitutional proposals.

Kamran Hajo, head of the Kurdish National Council (KNC) and member of the Constitutional Committee, revealed that the regime delegation had insisted on discussing national pillars. He predicted that Damascus will continue to impede the committee’s work.

Even though the regime will continue to try to buy itself some time, the constitutional announcement will ultimately be made and it will result in a comprehensive political process that will usher in a democratic regime, said Hajo.

The talks are meant to be a step forward in what the United Nations says will be a long road to political rapprochement, followed by elections.

But experts question whether regime leader Bashar Assad will be willing to cede much in any negotiations after his Russian- and Iranian-back forces recaptured large areas of the country in offensives against the opposition since 2015.

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