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Russian MP hails Syrian National Dialogue Congress as unique format

January 31, 18:10 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The participants in the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi have adopted a 12-point statement, which outlined the Syrians’ views on their country’s future

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© Vladimir Smirnov/TASS Host Photo Agency

MOSCOW, January 31. /TASS/. The Syrian National Dialogue Congress held in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi is a unique and successful format, said Leonid Slutsky, chair of the State Duma (lower house of parliament) foreign affairs committee.

"The Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi is a unique and absolutely successful format," Slutsky told reports on Wednesday.

According to the Russian MP, "at last, the constitutional process has started."

"It is a milestone step that will eventually help the Syrians to take decisions about their country’s future under the letter and spirit of Resolution 2254 of the United Nations Security Council," he added. "In this context, it is hard to overestimate the decision on setting up a constitutional council and later on, a constitutional commission."

The lawmaker believes that "that is the road leading to peace and the end of war in Syria."

"Russia has initially taken that stance and is determined to provide assistance in the Syrian settlement, in particular in the format of parliamentary dimension," Slutsky said.

On Tuesday, UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said that participants in the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi agreed to draw up a constitutional council. Besides, the congress took a decision to make up a constitutional committee, which would draw on a pool of 150 names (100 names from the government and internal moderate opposition and 50 names from external opposition), which, alongside Staffan de Mistura, would draft a new constitution for the country.

Sochi congress results

The participants in the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi adopted a 12-point statement, which outlined the Syrians’ views on their country’s future. It noted that Syria must preserve its sovereignty and territorial integrity, while only the Syrian people can determine their future through elections. The Syrians also asked the UN secretary-general to provide assistance in organizing the work of the constitutional commission which mandate will be determined within the framework of the Geneva process.

The delegates to the congress agreed to start work on revising the country’s constitution, to prepare the legal groundwork for the country’s post-war recovery and urged the global community to help restore Syria following its decimation from seven years of civil war.

In their joint statement, the participants reiterated their commitment to Syria’s territorial integrity, the war on terror and religious fanaticism. They also spoke out in favor of creating a unified army and holding free elections, which are to determine the country’s destiny.

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