International community hails Geneva talks on Syria

WASHINGTON 

Foreign ministers of several countries welcomed the launch of talks in Geneva on Syria’s Constitutional Committee.

Top diplomats of the U.S., U.K., Germany, Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia issued a joint statement late Thursday and saluted UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen for their efforts on Syria.

“We support efforts to create a safe and neutral environment that enables Syria to hold free and fair elections, under UN supervision,” the statement said, adding the political solution in the war-weary country should be based on UN Security Council Resolution 2254.

“We recall our statement in New York on September 26 and continue to call for an immediate and genuine nationwide ceasefire in Idlib,” it said, referring to opposition-controlled northwestern Syria.

Structure of Constitutional Committee

The committee is composed of two different bodies. The large body is made up of members from the opposition, regime and civil society whereas the small body includes 45 people responsible for the creation of the new national charter.

The drafts prepared by these 45 members must be approved by the large body, from which it must acquire a “yes” vote from 75% of its 150 members.

Notably, the committee includes two co-chairman.

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.

Since then, over 5 million civilians have become refugees. Turkey hosts 3.6 million of them — more than any country in the world.
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