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Syrian Constitutional Committee Meets in Geneva

Oct. 30, 2019 (EIRNS)—The Syrian Constitutional Committee convened in Geneva today, after nearly two years of arduous work to assemble the committee and agree on a set of procedures by which it might function. Today’s meeting was largely ceremonial, with introductory speeches by UN Special Envoy Geir Pedersen and by its two co-chairs, Dr. Ahmad al-Kizbari leading the government-backed delegation and Hadi al-Bahra for the opposition delegation. Pedersen, in his remarks, acknowledged that there was much deep feeling among all of the delegates but “the fact that you are here today sitting together face-to-face ready to start a dialogue and negotiations, is, I believe, a powerful sign of hope for Syrians everywhere, both inside and outside the country.” He called on the delegates to

“be patient and also to be persistent; to be ready to compromise; and to engage constructively as you fulfill the important mandate entrusted to you. It is my sincere hope that by signaling your good intentions to one another from the very beginning, trust will steadily grow and a positive working environment can be created.”

Al-Kizbari affirmed that the Syrian people have resisted a fierce war which has been waged against them for years, and they are still achieving victories over terrorism. “We reject all forms of foreign interference in our internal affairs and the Syrian people only have the exclusive right of deciding the future of their country,” he was quoted as saying by the official Syrian Arabic News Agency (SANA). “We reject any form of foreign interference in the work of the Committee of Discussing the Constitution and any talks we hold in Geneva are based on the principle of respecting Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

He continued: “Our war against terrorism will continue till liberating every inch of the Syrian territories. The presence of any occupational forces on the land of our country or looting its resources will threaten the political track of solving the crisis in Syria.”

Opposition co-chair Hadi al-Bahra said 65% of Syria’s infrastructure had been destroyed, and that, “It is time for us to believe that victory in Syria is achieving justice and peace, not winning the war,” reported Reuters. “The memory of 1 million victims must guide us out of this dark tunnel. The aspirations of millions of Syrians to go back to their homeland and find their loved ones must be our compass.”

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