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45 Syrian Constitutional Committee Delegates Launch Meetings in Geneva

45 Syrian Constitutional Committee Delegates Launch Meetings in Geneva

Monday, 4 November, 2019 - 07:00
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/Denis Balibouse

A 45-member committee equally divided between the Syrian regime, the opposition and civil society would meet on Monday in Geneva to hold talks on the amendment of Syria’s constitution.

Media sources close to the Syrian regime said that 35 members of the Constitutional Committee traveled to Geneva on Sunday afternoon while UN special envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen kept 45 others in the Swiss city to be part of the mini-committee that would discuss the constitutional reform in the country, after eight and a half years of conflict.

The small committee is expected to meet daily until next Friday.

Its 45 members would hold a four-hour session per day. Later, each member would return to his place of residence and spend the rest of the day consulting and preparing for the next session.

Pedersen launched the Constitutional Committee with co-chairs Ahmad Kuzbari from the Syrian regime and Hadi Albahra from the opposition in an opening ceremony on Oct. 30.

The UN did not specify a timeframe for the work of the Committee, which will be governed by consensus.

The Committee will conduct its work and adopt its decisions by consensus wherever possible, or resort to a majority of 75 percent of votes.

Observers fear that the required number of votes could prevent the Committee from approving any decisions in its upcoming meetings.

During the weekend, the Committee agreed on a “code of conduct” draft despite the “deep differences and lack of trust” between its members.

The Committee will pave the way for a political settlement in Syria.

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