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Foreign Ministers of Mini-Group on Syria Welcome Constitutional Committee Meeting

Foreign Ministers of Mini-Group on Syria Welcome Constitutional Committee Meeting

Saturday, 2 November, 2019 - 11:45
Members of the Syrian civil society delegation arrive at the UN for the first meeting of the Syrian Constitutional Committee in Geneva, Switzerland, October 30, 2019. (Reuters)

Foreign ministers of the mini-group on Syria welcomed the opening of the meetings of the Syrian Constitutional Committee in Geneva earlier this week.

In a joint statement on Saturday, the group welcomed the efforts exerted by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and his special envoy, Geir Pedersen towards holding the meeting.

It deemed the development a “positive” step that requires a great commitment.

The mini-group includes the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, France, Germany, Jordan, the UK and the United States.

The 150-member UN-backed Constitutional Committee is composed of regime and opposition members, as well as civil society representative. It is meant to usher in reconciliation after more than eight years of war in Syria.

It held its inaugural meeting Wednesday, a step forward in what the United Nations says will be a long road to political rapprochement.

During the meeting, the regime condemned what it called the occupation of its land while the opposition demanded justice and peace.

A sub-group of 45 is charged with drafting a new constitution or revising the 2012 one.

“This is an historic moment,” Pedersen said, while recognizing that it was not easy for the delegations to sit in the same room and the “road ahead will not be easy”.

“But the fact that you are here sitting together face-to-face ready to start a dialogue and negotiations is I believe a powerful sign of hope for Syrians everywhere, both inside and outside the country.”

The co-chairs did not shake hands at the end of the 45-minute ceremony.

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