Pedersen calls from Damascus to continue Constitutional Committee meetings in Geneva

Regime’s official media ignores Pedersen's talk about the Constitutional Committee during his meeting with Mekdad in Damascus - March 17, 2024 (SANA)

Regime’s official media ignores Pedersen's talk about the Constitutional Committee during his meeting with Mekdad in Damascus - March 17, 2024 (SANA)

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The United Nations Special Envoy to Syria, Geir Pedersen, stressed the necessity of continuing meetings in Geneva and developing the work of the Syrian Constitutional Committee (SCC) in a manner that gives hope to the Syrian people.

In statements he made after meeting the Syrian Foreign Minister, Faisal Mekdad, in Damascus today, Sunday, March 17, Pedersen said, “You have heard my proposal regarding the Constitutional Committee, and I repeated that today to Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad, and I said that as long as there is no agreement between the opposition and the government, we should continue to meet in Geneva.”

He also mentioned future meetings he will hold in hopes of making some progress in this regard.

According to the statement from Pedersen’s office, the situation in Syria is very difficult, and all indicators point to the wrong direction in terms of security, economy, political process, and security conditions.

Regarding security in northwest and northeast Syria, there is a need to take a deeper look at the security situation and initiate a nationwide ceasefire. Economically, humanitarian needs are on the rise.

Pedersen also pointed to the fact that there are 16.7 million Syrians in need of humanitarian aid, highlighting the problem of increasing needs and a lack of funding, according to a statement issued by his office two days ago, on the 13th anniversary of the start of the Syrian revolution.

The UN envoy emphasized the connection of the current conditions with the political process, saying, “We all know that to be able to move away from the security challenge and economic challenge, we need to make progress on the political front, and I’m afraid I don’t have anything new to tell you in this regard.”

Pedersen is expected to meet with the Russian and Iranian ambassadors in Damascus after his meeting with Mekdad.

The regime ignores the issue

In the same context, the official Syrian media ignored the issue of the Constitutional Committee and Pedersen’s call to continue the meetings in Geneva, as well as the linkage of economic conditions with the political process.

The official Syrian News Agency (SANA) contented itself with showcasing what it called “facilities provided by the Syrian government to the United Nations and its offices in Syria.”

On February 27, Pedersen announced the official invitations for the ninth round of the Constitutional Committee meetings in Geneva, scheduled for the end of April.

This step by Pedersen was met with unofficial reservations by the Syrian regime, as evidenced by a publication by the regime-affiliated newspaper Al-Watan, which considered Pedersen’s position an attempt to embarrass Russia.

For its part, the Syrian Negotiations Commission (SNC) accepted Pedersen’s invitation. The final statement of the SNC’s meeting in Istanbul, over March 8 and 9, stated that the commission had sent its official approval to send its delegation representatives to the Constitutional Committee to attend the meeting, noting that the round would be held between April 22 and 26.

 

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