Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Russia Envoy: Damascus Attack Affected Constitutional Committee Talks in Geneva

Russia Envoy: Damascus Attack Affected Constitutional Committee Talks in Geneva

Sunday, 24 October, 2021 - 09:30
UN envoy Geir Pedersen with the heads of the Syrian government and opposition delegations, Ahmad al-Kuzbari and Hadi al-Bahra in Geneva. (United Nations)

A bomb attack on an army bus in Damascus on Wednesday affected the work of the sixth round of Constitutional Committee talks between the Syrian regime and opposition in Geneva, said a Russian official.

The Kremlin’s special envoy for Syria, Alexander Lavrentiev, said parties traded accusations on Wednesday but resumed constructive talks the next day after UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen worked on overcoming obstacles.

Both parties still disagree on various issues, he added.

Bombings targeting a bus in Damascus left 17 soldiers dead on Wednesday.

Pedersen had said the latest round of talks between representatives of Syria’s government, opposition and civil society aimed at drafting a new constitution failed to make any headway.

He described the talks as a “big disappointment” and said they did not find a common path to draft a constitution or agree on a date for the next round.

“I think it fair to say that the discussion today was a big disappointment...we lacked a proper understanding on how to move that process forward,” he told a news conference.

Ahmad al-Kuzbari, the Syrian government representative, said the delegation proposed principles that reflect the aspirations and concerns of the Syrian people.

“We listened to all proposals made by some of the participants. Unfortunately, some of the suggestions were far from reality and even reflected malign thoughts and hostile agendas,” Kuzbari told a separate press conference.

“The opposition factions were attempting to legitimize the Turkish and US occupation of Syrian territory,” he added.

Hadi al-Bahra, the Syrian opposition representative, pointed the finger at the government delegation, telling a separate press conference that it had not even attempted to reach consensus on pending issues.

Editor Picks