19:49 GMT +313 December 2017
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    Nasr al-Hariri (R), Head of the Syrian High Negotiations Committee (HNC) opposition group attends a meeting with UN Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria Staffan de Mistura (2ndL) prior to a round of negotiation, during the Intra Syria talks in Geneva. (File)

    Syria Talks Parties Consider Creation of Mechanism of Discussing Constitution

    © AFP 2017/ DENIS BALIBOUSE / POOL
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    Parties to the intra-Syrian talks in Geneva are examining the possibility of establishment of a special mechanism for discussing Syria's constitution during the current round of talks in Geneva, sources close to the negotiations process told Sputnik Tuesday.

    GENEVA (Sputnik) — This round of Syria talks in Geneva will be organized slightly different compared to the previous ones, as the sides are going to have businesslike intensive meetings and are not going to deliver press stakeouts.

    "Technical details of this mechanism have not been coordinated yet. Its composition and work format will be the main topic for the talks in Geneva," a source said.

    Another source added that a working group for constitutional matters can be created, but the Syrian opposition High Negotiations Committee (HNC) and Damascus delegations are so far skeptical about it.

    The fact that constitution is going to be the main topic on the agenda at the sixth round of talks in Geneva was also confirmed to Sputnik by the leader of the Astana platform of Syrian opposition, Randa Kassis.

    "Constitution. De Mistura wants to work on the constitution," Kassis said, asked what the new round of intra-Syrian talks in Geneva is going to focus on.

    Russia supports the idea of focusing primarily on constitutional matters at the current round of Intra-Syrian talks in Geneva, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told Sputnik.

    Gatilov met with UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura.

    "The meeting went well. Russia supports the idea of a more intensive discussion of constitutional matters, alongside counterterrorism," Gatilov said asked about Moscow's view of de Mistura's desire to focus on constitution at Geneva-6.

    Staffan de Mistura has proposed to the sides of the intra-Syrian Geneva talks to discuss the issue of a new constitution for the country in two separate rooms simultaneously, member of the High Negotiations Committee delegation Abdul Hakim Bashar told Sputnik later in the day.

    "De Mistura met with Nasr Hariri [HNC delegation head] yesterday and told him that he is planning to organise discussions in two separate adjacent rooms simultaneously — one room for the government delegation and one room for the opposition. The opposition room would include representatives of the delegations of the HNC (4-5 persons) and one representative from the Moscow and Cairo platforms each," Bashar said.

    According to Bashar, the talks would focus on the constitution, how to draft it and what the main general principles of the constitution are. "There will be a representative of the Kurds in the room of the opposition as well," the opposition figure added.

    Related:

    Intra-Syrian Talks Under UN Auspices in Geneva: Facts & Details
    De Mistura to Build on Astana Momentum at New Geneva Round of Syria Talks
    Kurds Not Attending Geneva Talks Amid Turkey's Stance - PYD Party Co-Chair
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    Staffan de Mistura, Syria, Geneva
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