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Lavrov calls for soonest establishment of Syrian constitutional committee

The Russian foreign minister noted "the effective nature of cooperation" between the Astana format members

MOSCOW, October 24. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has highlighted the importance of the soonest formation of the Syrian constitutional committee during a meeting with Iranian and Turkish Deputy Foreign Ministers Hossein Ansari and Sedat Onal, the Russian Foreign Ministry informed on Tuesday.

Ansari and Onal were on a visit to Moscow, where they held trilateral consultations with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin in the Astana format. After that, they held a meeting with Lavrov.

The Russian foreign minister noted "the effective nature of cooperation between three guarantor countries, which has helped significantly to reduce global violence, strike a definitive blow to the terrorists and to improve the humanitarian situation in Syria." "As for the political process, [the diplomats] noted the importance of the soonest formation and coordination of the Syrian constitutional committee’s representative composition, which would be acceptable to the Syrian sides and which would allow for the soonest launch of this institution in Geneva in accordance with the decisions of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi and UN Security Council resolution 2254," the ministry informed.

The diplomats also expressed their commitment to Syria’s sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity. The parties agreed that "Syrians themselves must decide their future within the framework of the political process led and executed by them," the message notes.

On January 30, participants of the Syrian National Dialogue in Sochi made the decision to set up the constitutional committee, which will come up with recommendations concerning the amendments to the country’s constitution. On September 29, the US-led Small Group on Syria demanded that UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura accelerate the convocation of the constitutional committee to draft Syria’s new Constitution and brief the UN Security Council on the progress no later than October 31.

Damascus and Moscow said were they opposed to Western countries’ attempts to set artificial deadlines for setting up the committee.