Syrian Constitutional Committee concludes session

The fourth session of Syria’s Constitutional Committee is set to conclude today. The committee aims to draft a new constitution

syria meeting

Photo: Anadolu Agency

The fourth session of Syria’s Constitutional Committee is set to conclude today.

The committee aims to draft a new constitution for post-conflict Syria. The group includes fifteen members from the Assad regime, NGOs and opposition leaders. It aims to incorporate the stipulations in UN Resolution 2254, which calls for an immediate ceasefire as well as free and fair elections.

Although UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen initially expressed optimism, citing “quite a few areas of commonality”, observers of the negotiations have been disappointed with the committee’s sluggish pace, with talks ongoing since last November. Rather than make significant headway on a constitution, delegates were instead mired in debates over repatriation citizenship and electoral eligibility.

Expect little progress until the next meeting set for January 5. Meanwhile, delegates will likely focus on releasing detainees on both sides, a crucial step towards building trust. However, tangible improvements are unlikely even in January without a maintained ceasefire in Idlib, where Turkish-backed forces continue to clash with Syrian troops loyal to the regime. If the committee does not finalise a constitution before the April 2021 elections, there will be no insurance of a legitimate election and Syria could slide into sectarian violence yet again.

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