UN to convene Syrian peace talks next month

UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen
UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen

UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen will convene a new session of the Syrian Constitutional Committee on August 24 in Geneva, an official said.

Addressing reporters here on Friday, Alessandra Vellucci, head of the information office of UN headquarters at Geneva, said that Pederson has told the UN Security Council that he had confirmed the decision with the co-chairs of the committee, reports Xinhua news agency.

Earlier on Thursday, Pedersen briefed the UN Security Council about the latest development of the Syrian situation, saying that he has encouraged all sides to prepare for a productive peace talks.

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“I hope that thereafter we will be able to proceed in subsequent sessions in a regular, business-like and substantive manner,” he said.

The Syrian Constitutional Committee, which comprises representatives of the Syrian government, the opposition, and civil society, was officially launched in Geneva on October 30, 2019.

It held two sessions in November last year, without making any major progress.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. (Xinhua/SANA) (srb)

The development comes after parliamentary elections were held in Syria on July 11, the third since the start of the civil war in 2011 and also as President Bashar al-Assad marks 20 years in power.

The President’s Baath party and its allied candidates, who contested the election under the “National Unity” list, won 177 seats in the 250-member Parliament.

The Syrian government now controls around 70 per cent of the country’s territory while ultra-radical rebels control the Idlib province and the US-backed Kurdish militia of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) control areas in northeastern Syria.