Second UN meeting on new Syrian constitution set for next month

Second UN meeting on new Syrian constitution set for next month
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Geneva: The UN peace envoy for Syria will host senior officials from a range of Western and Middle-Eastern countries next month for talks on drafting a new Syrian constitution, the UN said Tuesday.

Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura has been tasked with setting up a committee to write a new constitution for the war-ravaged country.

He is already set to host a meeting on September 11-12 at the UN’s European headquarters in Geneva of senior officials from the main foreign powers backing the project, Syrian government allies Russia and Iran, as well as Turkey, which supports some opposition groups.

And on Tuesday, UN spokeswoman Alessandra Vellucci said de Mistura had convened a one-day meeting on September 14 with senior representatives from Egypt, France, Germany, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The meeting, Vellucci said, was to focus on “the way ahead on the political process” for Syria, “including the UN effort to facilitate the establishment of a constitutional committee”.

De Mistura has said he wants to have the constitutional committee in place before world leaders meet at the General Assembly in New York in late September.

De Mistura’s previous efforts to negotiate an end to the Syrian conflict have achieved no breakthroughs.

More than 350,000 people have been killed and millions displaced since Syria’s war started in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests.