09:58 GMT +323 September 2019
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    UN Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria Staffan de Mistura (1st R) attends a new round of negotiation with Syrian Ambassador to the United Nations and head of the government delegation Bashar al-Jaafari (2nd L) during the intra-Syrian talks, at Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, 14 July 2017

    UN Envoy, Guarantors May Hold Separate Talks on Syrian Constitutional Commission

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    SOCHI (Sputnik) - UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura and representatives from the three guarantor states - Russia, Turkey and Iran - may hold separate talks on the creation of the Syrian constitutional commission in Sochi on July 30-31, parallel to the Astana-format negotiations, a source at the talks told Sputnik.

    "There will possibly be separate talks on the constitutional commission in Sochi. But it will be outside the Astana framework. It's mostly because of logistical reasons. Such a meeting was supposed to happen in Geneva soon, but since all the participants are here now, it may be more convenient," the source said.

    Indeed, Vitaly Naumkin, the unofficial Russian adviser to de Mistura and leading expert on the issue of the Syrian constitutional commission, has arrived in Sochi, although he has never before participated in the Astana-format negotiations, which have mostly focused on the ceasefire issue.

    READ MORE: Syrian Opposition Says Wants to Discuss Constitutional Commission

    The Russian delegation is led by Special Presidential Representative for the Syrian Settlement Alexander Lavrentyev and also includes Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin.

    In June, representatives of the three guarantors went to Geneva to have focused discussions with de Mistura for the first time on creating the constitutional commission.

    The Syrian government's delegation, led by the country's permanent representative to the United Nations, Bashar Jaafari, has arrived in Russia's Sochi to participate in the 10th high-level meeting of the guarantor states for a nationwide ceasefire in Syria, a Sputnik correspondent reported.

    READ MORE: HDP Party: UN Should Ensure All Ethnicities Take Part in New Syrian Constitution

    Delegations representing other sides to the talks — Russia, Turkey, Iran, the United Nations and the Syrian opposition — are already in the city, ready to start the negotiations.

    The two-day Astana-10 talks will start later today. Monday is going to see a marathon of closed-door bilateral meetings and a session of the working group on detainees.


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    constitutional commission, negotiations, Staffan de Mistura, Alexander Lavrentyev, Syria, Russia
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