Russia: Positive steps coming on Syria charter council

Russia’s envoy for Syria said on Monday he foresees “positive developments” on the formation of a committee to rewrite Syria’s Constitution.

Speaking to reporters in Sochi, Alexander Lavrentyev said: “We are approaching a point where we will see some positive developments.”

Lavrentyev, also head of the Russian delegation at the Astana talks on Syria, added: “We are holding talks for a third group, which will represent Syrian civil society” on the committee.

His remarks came ahead of a 10th round of Syria peace talks in Astana, Kazakhstan slated for Tuesday.

The Astana talks will address the latest situation in de-escalation zones in Idlib, Syria, the return of refugees, the release of prisoners, and the formation of a committee to rewrite Syria’s Constitution.

De-escalation zones targeted

During the 9th Astana meeting held on May 14-15, all parties agreed to maintain the de-escalation zones and the cease-fire regime.

However, Assad’s forces and his allies took control of the de-escalation zones in the Homs region, Daraa, and Quintieri following a heavy offensive.

Last week, the regime began a military buildup in southwestern Idlib in a bid to attack Syria’s northwestern Turkmen Mountain region, which is located within the de-escalation zones.

Idlib is set to be a top issue during the next Astana meeting, as the Turkish delegation is expected to underline the importance of maintaining the cease-fire regime in the region.

Separately, Russia for the first time is expected during the meeting to bring up the issue of the return of refugees and displaced persons.

Russian officials have recently visited Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon, which host the majority of Syria’s refugees.

UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura is also expected to meet with the Turkish, Russian, and Iranian officials on the formation of a constitutional committee.

The regime and opposition had each submitted to de Mistura a list of 50 candidates to represent them on the constitutional committee.

Source: Anadolu

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