The United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced on Monday the long-awaited foundation of a Syrian constitutional committee, as reported by the UN.
Guterres declared that the Syrian government and the opposing Syrian Negotiations Commission (SNC) agreed to establish “a credible, balanced, and inclusive constitutional committee that will be facilitated by the UN in Geneva.”
The constitutional committee is to include 150 members, 50 of which are picked by the Syrian government, with an equal number of members chosen by the opposition. Meanwhile, the remaining 50 will be chosen by the UN, in order to represent the views of experts and civil society representatives.
The UN said it believes the launch of the committee is the next step in efforts to find a political settlement to end the war that has been going on for more than eight years in Syria.
The idea of the committee was backed by the UN since January 2018 in a conference hosted by Russia, but the government of president Bashar Al-Assad delayed the step by not sitting down with the opposition.
Commenting on the step, the Syrian government said that the new constitutional committee “should be free of foreign intervention.”
The Syrian Arab News Agency cited the Syrian Foreign Minister, Walid Al-Moualem, saying that the Syrian government has discussed the necessity of working on a clear mechanism for the constitutional committee’s role, and to have it free of “any foreign intervention.”