“Geneva 9” .. Syria between the “constitution dilemma” and the repercussions of the Ukraine crisis

“Geneva 9” .. Syria between the “constitution dilemma” and the repercussions of the Ukraine crisis

Pedersen’s announcement came after receiving confirmation from the head of the Syrian government delegation, Ahmed al-Kuzbari, about his delegation’s willingness to participate in the talks if the Russian conditions were implemented.

The position of the Syrian government coincided with the Russian side, and in mid-June, Moscow proposed moving the headquarters of the Constitutional Committee meetings from Geneva, and the Russian Special Envoy to Syria, Alexander Lavrentiev, indicated his country’s need to move the meetings to a more neutral platform, noting that the continuation of work in Geneva has become Difficult for Russia as a result of Switzerland’s recent hostile positions.

Russia’s demand caused concern to the United States, while the United Nations’ attempts to persuade Russia to hold the meetings on time did not succeed, despite its assertion of Switzerland’s neutrality as a platform for receiving these meetings, without offering any alternative platform for Geneva to hold discussions on the Syrian constitution during this period.

With the outbreak of the Ukrainian war, Geneva adopted most of Brussels’ sanctions against Moscow, although it is not a member of the European bloc, and the sanctions included even Russian President Vladimir Putin and some close ministers with bans on Russian goods such as coal and construction materials.

On the possibility of Moscow changing its position, Ghassan Youssef, a Syrian political analyst, explained that Switzerland’s compliance with the European Union’s sanctions against Russia means its departure from the neutrality it has adopted since 1815. Therefore, from Moscow’s point of view, Geneva has become not suitable as a venue for the meetings of the adversaries.

The director of the Arab Center for Political Studies, Muhammad Sadiq Ismail, also believes that Russia will adhere to the condition of transferring the meetings from Geneva, expecting Astana to become an alternative.

The complexity of the situation

Over the course of the previous 8 rounds, discussions took place between representatives of the Syrian government, the opposition, and civil society on the constitution without clear results, given the differences between the parties to the conflict over the form of the constitution.

The Syrian state wants to revive the 2012 constitution again by making amendments on the issues of state sovereignty and law and combating terrorism, while the opposition rejects this proposal and demands the writing of a new constitution that aims to establish decentralization of government.

During the meetings of the Constitutional Committee last March and May, the repercussions of the Ukrainian war contributed to widening the gap between the views of the parties to the crisis regarding the identity of the state, the amendment of the anthem, the flag, and the mechanisms of power transfer, given the divergence of visions between the international parties that are mainly involved in Syria.

The director of the Arab Center for Political Studies, Muhammad Sadiq Ismail, explained that with the escalation of the Ukrainian war, Russia’s desire to lead the international scene and the United States increase its positions to prove its existence, which makes Syria between the hammer of the Constitutional Committee meetings and the anvil of tension between Moscow and Washington.

For his part, the Syrian political analyst Ghassan Youssef, in an interview with the website, said: "Sky News Arabia"That the worsening relationship between Russia and the United States will negatively affect any political solution to the Syrian crisis due to the nature of the strong relationship between Damascus and Moscow, because the latter has military bases in Syria and overlaps with it in the war against terrorism, in addition to Washington’s possession of military bases and its support for military forces in northern Syria. The Constitution Committee will convene in the near future in light of the dispute over the venue of the meetings.

The fate of the constitution

With regard to the fate of the constitution, Youssef finds that there is no conviction in Syria about writing the constitution abroad, so the best solution becomes a meeting of the Astana Group in Damascus to draft the articles of the constitution and submit it to a referendum, stressing that this scenario will not happen unless there is an appropriate political solution for all parties .

As for Ismail, he pointed out that the transfer of the constitution’s meetings would not be the only obstacle in the Syrian scene, given that the meetings of the Constitution Committee were prolonged in vain, due to the intransigence of opinions, the opposition’s rejection of all the proposals of the Syrian government, and the requirements of civil society representatives on other conditions, which created 3 conflicting fronts whose positions are difficult to approximate.

It is worth noting that the idea of ​​the Constitutional Committee emerged from the Syrian National Dialogue Conference, in Sochi, at the end of January 2018, and was established a year later as one of the four series of Security Council Resolution No. 2254 to resolve the Syrian crisis, after the agreement of the guarantor states of the Astana process "Russia, Iran and Turkey" To rewrite the constitution with the participation of government and opposition parties.

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In their statements to “Sky News Arabia”, two political experts agreed that postponing the meetings of the Constitutional Committee will hinder the course of the Syrian file, especially since there is a dispute between the government and the opposition over the form of the political process.

The international envoy to Syria, Geir Pedersen, announced that the 9th round of the Constitutional Committee’s meetings could not be held in Geneva, Switzerland, calling on all parties to the Syrian conflict to protect the political process.

Pedersen’s announcement came after receiving confirmation from the head of the Syrian government delegation, Ahmed al-Kuzbari, about his delegation’s willingness to participate in the talks if the Russian conditions were implemented.

The position of the Syrian government coincided with the Russian side, and in mid-June, Moscow proposed moving the headquarters of the Constitutional Committee meetings from Geneva, and the Russian Special Envoy to Syria, Alexander Lavrentiev, indicated his country’s need to move the meetings to a more neutral platform, noting that the continuation of work in Geneva has become Difficult for Russia as a result of Switzerland’s recent hostile positions.

Russia’s demand caused concern to the United States, while the United Nations’ attempts to persuade Russia to hold the meetings on time did not succeed, despite its assertion of Switzerland’s neutrality as a platform for receiving these meetings, without offering any alternative platform for Geneva to hold discussions on the Syrian constitution during this period.

With the outbreak of the Ukrainian war, Geneva adopted most of Brussels’ sanctions against Moscow, although it is not a member of the European bloc, and the sanctions included even Russian President Vladimir Putin and some close ministers with bans on Russian goods such as coal and construction materials.

On the possibility of Moscow changing its position, Ghassan Youssef, a Syrian political analyst, explained that Switzerland’s compliance with the European Union’s sanctions against Russia means its departure from the neutrality it has adopted since 1815. Therefore, from Moscow’s point of view, Geneva has become not suitable as a venue for the meetings of the adversaries.

The director of the Arab Center for Political Studies, Muhammad Sadiq Ismail, also believes that Russia will adhere to the condition of transferring the meetings from Geneva, expecting Astana to become an alternative.

The complexity of the situation

Over the course of the previous 8 rounds, discussions took place between representatives of the Syrian government, the opposition, and civil society on the constitution without clear results, given the differences between the parties to the conflict over the form of the constitution.

The Syrian state wants to revive the 2012 constitution again by making amendments on the issues of state sovereignty and law and combating terrorism, while the opposition rejects this proposal and demands the writing of a new constitution that aims to establish decentralization of government.

During the meetings of the Constitutional Committee last March and May, the repercussions of the Ukrainian war contributed to widening the gap between the views of the parties to the crisis regarding the identity of the state, the amendment of the anthem, the flag, and the mechanisms of power transfer, given the divergence of visions between the international parties that are mainly involved in Syria.

The director of the Arab Center for Political Studies, Muhammad Sadiq Ismail, explained that with the escalation of the Ukrainian war, Russia’s desire to lead the international scene and the United States increase its positions to prove its existence, which makes Syria between the hammer of the Constitutional Committee meetings and the anvil of tension between Moscow and Washington.

For his part, Syrian political analyst Ghassan Youssef considered in an interview with “Sky News Arabia” that the worsening relationship between Russia and the United States will negatively affect any political solution to the Syrian crisis due to the nature of the strong relationship between Damascus and Moscow, because the latter owns military bases in Syria and overlaps with it in the war against Terrorism, in addition to Washington’s possession of military bases and its support for military forces in northern Syria, it is expected that the Constitution Committee will not convene in the near future in light of the dispute over the location of the meetings.

The fate of the constitution

With regard to the fate of the constitution, Youssef finds that there is no conviction in Syria about writing the constitution abroad, so the best solution becomes a meeting of the Astana Group in Damascus to draft the articles of the constitution and submit it to a referendum, stressing that this scenario will not happen unless there is an appropriate political solution for all parties .

As for Ismail, he pointed out that the transfer of the constitution’s meetings would not be the only obstacle in the Syrian scene, given that the meetings of the Constitution Committee were prolonged in vain, due to the intransigence of opinions, the opposition’s rejection of all the proposals of the Syrian government, and the requirements of civil society representatives on other conditions, which created 3 conflicting fronts whose positions are difficult to approximate.

It is worth noting that the idea of ​​the Constitutional Committee emerged from the Syrian National Dialogue Conference, in Sochi, at the end of January 2018, and was established a year later as one of the four series of Security Council Resolution No. 2254 to resolve the Syrian crisis, after the agreement of the guarantor states of the Astana process “Russia, Iran and Turkey” to rewrite Constitution with the participation of government and opposition parties.


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