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    A Syrian national flag flutters near a general view of eastern Aleppo after Syrian government soldiers took control of al-Sakhour neigborhood in Aleppo, Syria in this handout picture provided by SANA on November 28, 2016.

    Syrian Kurds Ready to Take Part in Commission on Constitution Elaboration

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    The representatives of the self-proclaimed Federation of Northern Syria (NSR) are ready to take part in the commission to work out a new Syrian constitution, should it be established, representative of NSR in Russia Rodi Osman told Sputnik.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to Osman, the Russian proposal is a big and positive step forward toward the peaceful future of Syria.

    "We heard that Russia is proposing to establish such a commission. If it is established, we are ready to take part in its work. Furthermore, the discussion of the draft will be pointless without Kurds," Osman said.

    "We have already started to discuss it, as we maintain contacts with the Russian side and we have sent our proposals regarding the constitution… Although, this is still a draft and there are some provisions we do not agree with, the very fact of submitting such a project is a very positive step," Osman added.

    He added that preparatory work is underway, lists of voters are being formed, discussions are underway about how many lawmakers should be in the parliament, and the boundaries of the districts are being prepared.

    According to the preliminary estimates, 4-5 million people and about 500,000 refugees from other regions of Syria, as well as from Iraq and Turkish Kurdistan live in Northern Syria.

    The Kurds welcome that the project of the constitution removes the word "Arab" from the name of the state, however, it is not enough that the project prescribes granting a "cultural autonomy" to ethnic minorities, as the Kurds are proposing federalization of Syria and introduction of the parliamentary form of governance instead of the presidential one, according to Osman.

    On March 17, 2016, the Syrian Kurds announced the creation of the federal region of Rojava in northern Syria at a conference in the Hasakah province. The Syrian government responded by saying that the Kurds’ unilateral decision had no legal power. Syrian Kurds say they are a part of Syrian population and do not strive for independence, yet have previously called for more autonomy.

    The draft constitution was presented to the parties of the Syrian conflict during the talks in Astana that took place on January 23 – 24. The establishment of the new Syrian constitution is considered crucial for achievement of peace in the country.

    Meanwhile, Syrian parliamentary speaker Hadiyeh Abbas called for involvement of Russian experts and lawmakers in the process of developing Syria's constitution.

    "Naturally, as soon as this meets the interests of the Syrian people, we will need your help," Abbas said on Monday at a meeting with the Russian State Duma delegation led by deputy house speaker Vladimir Vasilyev, as well as parliamentarians of the Council of Europe.


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