UN Special Envoy for Syria: Talks on Track

UNITED NATIONS (TURKISH JOURNAL) – By Janet Ekstract – United Nations Special Envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen said discussions with the Constitutional Committee on Syria have gone much better than “most people’s expectations.”

Pedersen spoke to the press recently and explained that the UN Security Council in both open and closed sessions had very productive discussions about the Syrian situation.  He added there is no specific deadline for the Constitutional Committee work.  He said: “We agreed to work seriously. We will make progress and I will report on the work of the Committee to the Security Council.”

The UN special envoy emphasized that the purpose of the Constitutional Committee is to bring diverse views and parties from all areas of Syrian society into the discussion, in order to bring about a lasting peace.

He said that all issues of relevance were brought up to the Committee and that on key issues, there still remain “deep divides.”  Pedersen commented that it was still too early to speculate on any outcome concerning the talks.
When asked whether he has plans to meet with Russian authorities, Pedersen acknowledged that it’s on his agenda and that he will announce his new schedule within a week 

Pedersen was asked to comment on the U.S. and EU position regarding the rebuilding of Syria.  He said though it’s common knowledge that both nations are against participating in Syria’s reconstruction – Pedersen emphasized that both the EU and the U.S. e pressed a willingness to reconsider should significant progress be made in the Geneva discussions.
He added: “We have to accept that it’s going to take time to allow for discussions to develop since these are fundamental issues about how to organize the state.”  Pedersen reiterated that it’s about the “social contract for Syria’s future.”   

The special envoy stressed that he’s not about to create unrealistic goals about what should or should not happen during any given week of the talks. His preference, he said, is to see “steady progress.”

The real test of the Constitutional Committee, Pedersen said is that: “It’s about listening to the Syrian people and to respond to the aspirations of the Syrian people.”

The Constitutional Committee resumes it’s talks in Geneva on December 2.

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