Russia concerned over Syrian constitutional committee


Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov voiced concern on Monday over possible interference in the work of the Syrian Constitutional Committee in Geneva.

Speaking at a news conference in Moscow, Lavrov said “there are many supporters” of the disruption of the committee’s work.

“There is always a threat [of disruption of the committee’s work], because there are many supporters of those who would like this process to end in failure, and then, it will be possible to justify some actions, including the intensification of military intervention in Syrian affairs, in order to implement the notorious regime change,” the minister said.

Lavrov added that he was going to discuss the Syrian settlement with UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen during upcoming contacts in December.

The Syrian Constitutional Committee — comprising of opposition, civil society, and regime members — began its work on Nov. 20 in Geneva with the UN facilitation.

The committee is mandated within the context of a UN-facilitated Geneva process, to prepare and draft for popular approval of constitutional reforms paving the way for a political settlement in Syria.

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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