13:49 GMT +311 December 2018
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    A Syrian national flag hangs in a damaged neighbourhood in Aleppo, Syria

    Syrian Envoy to UN Urges to Set Up Country's Constitutional Committee

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    UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) - UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura voiced late on Monday his hope that the Syrian Constitutional Committee, set to draft reforms to the country's constitution, could convene in December.

    "Let me declare: our aim is and remains for the UN to issue invitations latest, we believe. mid [middle] of December and convene the first meeting of the Constitutional Committee within December, before the 31st of December, which is the date indicated in the Istanbul, very constructive, declaration," de Mistura told the UN Security Council.

    Meanwhile, Damascus believes that the Syrian Constitutional Committee, set to draft reforms to the country's constitution, should be established as soon as possible, Syria’s Ambassador to the United Nations Bashar Jaafari told the UN Security Council.

    "We positively look on … the establishment of a committee to discuss a current constitution," Jaafari said on Monday. "We are mindful of the establishment of such a constitution [committee] and we believe it should be set up as soon as possible."

    Jaafari pointed out that the constitutional committee should be based on the commitment to Syria’s sovereignty and integrity, and any process related to the constitution should not affect this commitment.

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    Secondly, the envoy continued, the political process should be led by Syrians without external interference.

    "Any prior conclusion with regard to the work of the committee and its recommendations cannot be accepted," he added. "The constructional committee is sovereign and takes its decisions."

    On October 27, the leaders of Russia, Turkey, Germany and France held a summit in Istanbul aimed at brokering an end to the war in Syria. In a joint communique issued after the summit, the leaders said the Syrian Constitutional Committee should convene in Geneva by the end of 2018.

    The idea to form a Syrian constitutional committee was first agreed at the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi in January.

    Syria has been in a state of civil war since 2011, with the government forces fighting against numerous opposition groups and terrorist organizations.

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    settlement, Syrian Constitutional Committee, UN, Bashar Jaafari, Staffan de Mistura, Syria
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