Cairo is moving forward with its diplomatic efforts to boost the political process in Damascus through its membership in the "Small Group" on Syria that includes several Western and Arab countries.
Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry held extensive international calls with various parties to resume the political track in Syria and activate the work of the Constitutional Committee, which would lead to presidential elections in June 2021, an Egyptian diplomatic source told Asharq Al-Awsat.
Shoukry discussed in a telephone call Wednesday the latest developments in Syria with the UN Special Envoy Geir Pedersen.
Foreign Ministry spokesman, Ahmed Hafez, stated that the call comes within the coordination between Cairo and the UN to support a peaceful settlement in the war-torn country.
The FM asserted Egypt will continue to call for ending the war and reaching a reconciliation under UN Security Council Resolution 2254. He hoped this would be done in a way that preserves the unity of Syrian territories and achieves the aspirations of the Syrian people, which brings the country back to its natural position in the regional and international arenas.
The talks also addressed Cairo’s evaluation of the latest developments in Syria as well as its efforts to push forward the political process in the country through Egypt’s membership in the Small Group, including its talks with the moderate Syrian opposition groups.
The statement noted that both officials asserted that terrorist and radical organizations and their regional supporters must be stopped, adding that Syria should be supported during the coronavirus pandemic.
For his part, Pedersen was briefed on the latest developments in Syria and the continuous efforts with the Syrian parties to move forward with the political process.
The Special envoy expressed his appreciation for the balanced Egyptian role in supporting the reconciliation efforts and restoring security and stability in Syria.
On Tuesday, Shoukry met with representatives of the Syrian Opposition High Negotiations Committee (HNC) in Cairo, to discuss recent developments and ways to boost the political reconciliation process.
The HNC delegation expressed their appreciation of the Egyptian role to reach out to all Syrian parties and political powers to end the Syrian crisis as soon as possible.
In exclusive statements to Asharq Al-Awsat, HNC member Jamal Soleiman explained that the meeting with the FM was aimed at coordinating measures on recent developments in Syria, the situation of the Syrians abroad, and efforts to activate the Constitutional Committee.
Soleiman said opposition forces would consult with the Syrian government through written messages exchanged via UN mediator or Egypt itself.
He believes the remaining six-months period is not enough for drafting the constitution, stressing that if the constitution was not drafted before the elections, the conflict will continue and no solution will be reached.