Fourth Syrian constitutional talks conclude, next meeting set for January

The fourth meeting of the Small Body of the Syrian Constitutional Committee concluded here on Friday after a weeklong discussion.

Geir O. Pedersen, United Nations Special Envoy for Syria, told a press conference that the delegations have agreed that the next meeting will be starting on Jan. 25, and they also have agreed on the agenda, which is constitutional principles or basic principles of the future new Syrian constitution.

“During the week, they have rather more precisely discussed a wide range of topics,” the envoy said.

Saying that the delegations were here to listen to the differences, Pedersen told reporters that there were still “very strong different narratives” and a lot of emotions during the just-concluded meeting.

“But I think, perhaps more importantly, what we experienced through this week was more and more that people were listening attentively to each other, they were listening with respect,” he said.

“The conflict has lasted far too long, and the Syrian people are suffering and suffering deeply. They need to see the political process move forward in 2021,” he added.

The fourth round of Syrian constitutional talks, which aim at writing a new constitution so as to pave the way for a political solution for the decade-long conflict in the country, kicked off in Geneva on Monday.

The Syrian Constitutional Committee — which comprises representatives of the Syrian government, the opposition, and civil society — was officially launched in Geneva on Oct. 30, 2019.

The Committee’s Small Body, including 45 delegates with 15 each from the three groups, held its last session in Geneva in August this year, without making any major progress.