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SECURITY COUNCIL OFFERS BACKING TO UN’S SYRIA ENVOY AT SOCHI MEETING

UNITED NATIONS, The Security Council offered its backing to UN special envoy for the Syria crisis, Staffan de Mistura, at the upcoming intra-Syria negotiations in Sochi, said the council president.

"Members of the Security Council have reiterated their full support for his leadership, to facilitate a viable and durable solution to the Syrian conflict," Swedish ambassador to the United Nations, Olof Skoog, whose country holds the council presidency for the month of July, told reporters.

The members of the Security Council called on the Syrian parties, to engage "constructively, in good faith and without preconditions" with de Mistura, regarding the formation of a constitutional committee, said the Swedish ambassador. Participants to a previous Sochi meeting, within the the framework of the Astana process, agreed to establish an inclusive constitutional committee, which will draft a new constitution for the war-torn country.

The participants to the Sochi meeting in Jan, 2018, including the three guarantors of the Astana process -- Russia, Turkey and Iran -- agreed to put de Mistura in charge of the formation of such a committee, within the framework of the UN-led Geneva process. "He will now take the strong commitment of the Security Council members with him, to Sochi, where this will be discussed and he will take the lead proactively to get the constitutional committee going," said Skoog.

Security Council members also emphasised the need for safe, rapid and unhindered humanitarian access in Syria and full respect for international humanitarian law, he said.

Source: NAM News Network