UN chief announces committee for Syrian constitution

The UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, on Monday announced the formation of a constitutional committee for Syria, in an effort to help move ahead a peace process and resolve political disputes.

The formation of the committee came after nearly eight years of war in the country.

“I strongly believe that the launch of the Syrian-owned and Syrian-led constitutional committee can, and must, be the beginning of the political path out of the tragedy,” Guterres said in New York.

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The process will be run out of Geneva.

The UN chief noted that the committee was backed by Russia, Turkey and Iran, the main countries involved in the Syrian peace process.

The launch of a process for a new constitution and the formation of a 150-member committee started at a conference in Russia in January 2018.

Agreeing on the full list of members has taken more than 18 months.

A UN-led roadmap for a peace plan was first launched in 2012, a year after the start of the Syrian uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.

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The Syrian government, backed by Russia and Iran, has largely regained control over most of the country, though rebels, including hardline Islamist factions, still control the northern province of Idlib on the border with Turkey.

Kurdish factions and the U.S. control the north-east, having seized that territory from the Islamic State as they defeated the extremist group.

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