Russia presents new draft Syrian constitution at peace talks

Moscow spearheaded the initiative in drafting a new Constitution to expedite the much-needed resolution of hostilities in the country.

UN envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura

The Russian government believes that the draft of a new Constitution of Syria, presented and discussed during the Astana talks in Kazakhstan, can commence the political process that could end the 6-year conflict that devastated the Syrian nation.

Alexander Lavrentiev, head of the Russian delegation during the Astana negotiations, pointed out that the draft of the new Constitution could greatly help the Syrian people to start the political process that could pave the way of unifying the nation under one fundamental law. Moscow spearheaded the initiative in drafting the new Constitution to expedite the much-needed resolution of hostilities in the country.

“We have done this solely because we want to expedite this process and give it an additional and stimulating impetus, without interfering in the very process of the examination and the adoption of the country’s fundamental law,” said Lavrentiev.

He added that during the two-day talks in Astana, the Syrian opposition recognized the importance of the political process in ending the conflict and hostilities in the country. He said the adaptation to the new Constitution will eventually lead to parliamentary and presidential elections. Lavrentiev, however, pointed out that the new Constitution must need to go through a referendum to verify the will of the Syrian people in their acceptance to the new fundamental law of the land.

“We believe that this process should be led by the Syrian people itself,” he said while citing the important role of the Syrian armed opposition in achieving the goal.

Although there were reports of violations amid the December 29 ceasefire, the Russian official lauded the opposition for their active participation in the Astana talks. He said the rebels groups must always become full-fledged participants in any talks involving Syrian settlement. The opposition groups sent 15 participants to Astana representing 15 rebel factions in Syria.

Written by Jun Pasaylo

Jun is multimedia journalist from the Philippines. He has wide array of experience in war reporting in Southeast Asia. His proficiency in journalism was anchored in his years of experience as field reporter in conflict areas.

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