Upcoming Syrian constitutional talks could pave way for political settlement: Lavrov

Sergey Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday expressed the hope that the upcoming sixth session of the Syrian Constitutional Committee will be more productive than previous rounds and create opportunities for progress toward a political settlement in the region.

“We are actively working with our partners within the Astana format to ensure that the upcoming meeting of the Editorial Commission of the Syrian Constitutional Committee will be productive,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement, citing Lavrov during his press conference with his Israeli counterpart Gabi Ashkenazi in Moscow.

Lavrov added there is every reason to believe the negotiations will yield progress especially as they will ensure “direct contacts between key delegations.”

Lavrov stressed that Russia is currently awaiting details in relation to the date of the upcoming session and the initiative of the UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen to establish a new international format for discussions that would expand beyond the existing Astana format and include Western countries and Arab states.

“We are ready to explore new ways and formats through which we can create external conditions that will allow the Syrians to build their own future in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2254,” he added.

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 aims to bring an end to the Syrian crisis, restore peace and advance a political process in the country.