Russia, Iran, Turkey to meet on Syrian constitutional committee — UN

Photo showing UN mediator for Syria Staffan de Mistura reacts after a news conference at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland October 6, 2016. (Reuters)
Updated 13 June 2018
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Russia, Iran, Turkey to meet on Syrian constitutional committee — UN

GENEVA: Senior officials from Iran, Russia and Turkey will meet in Geneva on June 18-19 for consultations with the United Nations about setting up a constitutional committee for Syria, UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura said in a statement on Wednesday.
He will invite other countries for relevant discussions in due course, the statement said. De Mistura is tasked with picking membership of the committee, which is expected to rewrite the Syrian constitution, paving the way for new elections as part of a post-war political reform.


UN Syria envoy to step down next month

Updated 15 min 14 sec ago
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UN Syria envoy to step down next month

  • “I will myself be moving on as of the last week of November,” Staffan de Mister said
  • He said he was leaving for “purely personal reasons”

UNITED NATIONS: The United Nations envoy for Syria announced on Wednesday he will step down at the end of November after more than four years in the key post, setting back UN efforts to end the seven-year war in Syria
“I will myself be moving on as of the last week of November,” Staffan de Mistura told the UN Security Council during a meeting on the crisis in Syria.
The Italian-Swedish diplomat, who became the UN’s third Syria envoy in July 2014, said he was leaving for “purely personal reasons” and had discussed his plans to leave with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
“I am not laying down the charge until the last hour of the last day of my mandate,” he said.
De Mistura will be traveling to Damascus next week to push for the creation of a committee to agree on a post-war constitution for Syria.
Syria is resisting the UN-led effort to set up the constitutional committee that will be comprised of government officials, opposition members and representatives of civil society.
De Mistura was appointed UN envoy for Syria in July 2014 after veteran Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi resigned following the failure of peace talks in Geneva.
Brahimi spent two years in the position, stepping in after former UN chief Kofi Annan quit just six months into the role.
More than 360,000 people have died in the war in Syria, which began in March 2011 as an uprising against President Bashar Assad but has since morphed into a complex war with myriad armed groups, some of which have foreign backing.