Geneva: Syrian regime blocks ongoing talks for 3rd day

GENEVA

The Syrian regime on Wednesday continued blocking Constitutional Committee meetings in Geneva for a third consecutive day. 

Hadi Albahra, co-chair of the opposition side on the committee, told reporters that the regime had proposed adding an item to the agenda that fell outside the basic framework of the constitution.

Albahra said then the opposition had made three counter-proposals — all rejected by the regime.

“We are here to discuss constitutional issues, but the regime doesn’t accept discussing constitutional issues,” he stressed.

The opposition previously accused the regime side of buying time by blocking the talks, currently in their second round.

Ahmad Kuzbari, co-chair of the regime side, said the regime’s proposal involved the fight against terror, lifting sanctions, and condemning Turkey’s counter-terrorist Operation Peace Spring in northern Syria.

The regime delegation left the talks Monday after its proposal to add new items to the agenda was rejected by representatives of some local NGOs.

The Syrian Constitutional Committee — made up to opposition, civil society, and regime members — started talks on Nov. 20 with UN facilitation.

A second round of talks started on Monday. However, since then, the regime delegation has continued to block deliberations.

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.

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