FRI 17 - 1 - 2020
Date: Dec 2, 2019
Source: The Daily Star

Folder: Constitution
Round of Syrian constitution talks ends without meeting
Agence France Presse
GENEVA: A second round of talks on amending Syria’s constitution ended Friday, after disagreement on the agenda prevented government and opposition negotiators from meeting, the U.N. mediator said. The United Nations-brokered constitutional review committee includes 150 delegates - divided equally among President Bashar Assad’s government, the opposition and civil society. A smaller group of 45 negotiators has been charged with hammering out a new text, but there is little hope for a breakthrough toward a political solution.

“It was not possible to call for a meeting of the small body of 45 [negotiators] because there has not been an agreement on the agenda,” U.N. Syria envoy Geir Pedersen told reporters.

It was not clear when the sides would meet again, he added.

Earlier this week, the head of the opposition delegation Yahya al-Aridi told reporters the government wanted to put combating terrorism and lifting U.N. sanctions on the agenda.

But Aridi said those were “political” issues and “not part of writing a constitution.”

Assad’s negotiators have repeatedly prioritized the issue of terrorism at multiple previous rounds of Geneva talks, while resisting any discussions of U.N.-supervised elections and constitutional reform.

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