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JUNE 2021

Damascus Government Hands List Of Its Representatives To Constitutional Committee

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Damascus Government Hands List Of Its Representatives To Constitutional Committee

the Syria Foreign Ministry building

On May 26, the Syria Foreign Ministry handed a list containing names of members of the committee tasked with discussing the current constitution to Russian and Iranian ambassadors in Damascus, according to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA).

The establishment of this committee was one of the main results of the Syrian National Dialogue Conference held in January.

“Foreign and Expatriates Ministry in the Syrian Arab Republic has handed the ambassadors of the Russian Federation and the Islamic Republic of Iran in Damascus respectively a list of the members’ names of the committee tasked with discussing the current constitution whom the Syrian government supports,” a Syrian diplomat told the SANA.

Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad agreed to send representatives to the Syrian constitutional committee during a meeting with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, on May 17. Prior to the meeting, the Damascus government refused to name its representatives likely due to the instable situation around the city of Damascus back then.

Later on May 24, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov confirmed that the Damascus government will hand over a list of its representatives to the constitutional committee to the UN within two days.

So far, Russia, Iran, Turkey and France have voiced their support to the constitutional committee that will operate in the framework of the UN and the Geneva process. However, local observers believe that the committee’s mission will fail due to the strong influence of the US over the representatives of the Syrian opposition in Geneva.

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I tried to look into what sort of powers this committee will have, it appears to be some sort of ad hoc congress that will reform the civil Syrian government who’s legal authority depends totally on its ability to reach a reconciliation between the sides. Although SF oversimplifies the problems because US influence is the least of their worries. Assad wants the committee to only make amendments to Syria’s pre-war constitution while the UN and the Syrian Opposition wants the committee to be able to totally rewrite it. The 150 man committee represents most factions and sub-factions in Syria whether they be loyal to Assad, neutral, or opposition, but there is no pretense that some groups will be excluded and others will refuse to recognize the committee. Part of the reason this committee exists is because Russia (who is downsizing their military) is diplomatically pressing both sides to reach a formal end to the war so they can go home.

As you see that the many conflicting interests and agendas in this committee might cause it to fail, keep in mind that many groups (mainly foreign backed Rebels and Assad himself) can simply ignore any resolution they don’t like.


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