Syrian regime hampers political process, blocking constitutional talks

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 29.11.2019 18:28

The Syrian regime's uncompromising attitude on constitutional committee talks has left the process at a dead end again on the fourth day of the second round of talks.

"Since the beginning of the second round, we made five proposals within the scope of the Constitutional Committee and its authorities. All five were rejected by the regime. We will continue to present new proposals in order to find a solution," Hadi Albahra, co-chair of the opposition side on the committee stated Thursday.

The attempts to find a political solution via a constitutional committee are taking place at the U.N. headquarters in Geneva. This has received mounting support from the international community for the most part with many welcoming the launch of talks. However, the opposition previously accused the regime side of buying time by blocking the talks, currently in their second round.

Albahra explained that the regime had only made two proposals so far which were "putting certain political issues into the agenda of the committee" and "the committee starting without an agenda."

Ahmad Kuzbari, the co-chair from the regime's side, continued to criticize Turkey and the opposition in his statement.

The U.N. on the other hand, despite assessing the process as "positive" at the beginning of the talks, is remaining silent in the face of the disunity. No statement was made by the U.N. regarding the talks, which have been in deadlock since the beginning of the week.

The regime's uncooperative stance has been clear, and many pundits expect it may quit the talks with confidence gained from military achievements in the field. The main problem for the regime is thought to be the necessity to compromise, perhaps to the point of coming up with a new constitution and eventually giving up existing authority. Yet, pundits also suggest that the presence of Russia as a pressure point may cause the regime to conform to the committee and the process as a whole.

The committee is mandated within the context of a U.N.-facilitated Geneva process to prepare and draft for popular approval constitutional reforms to pave the way for a political settlement in Syria. From within this 150-member committee, a subcommittee of 45 members is responsible for preparing a draft of the new constitution.

The meeting, with support from the powers backing both sides, marks the first political negotiations between the Syrian regime and the opposition groups.

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