DAMASCUS, Syria, UN special envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, described his talks with the Syrian foreign minister as "frank and intense" regarding the formation of the Syrian constitutional committee. "We had a long meeting with Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem. During this meeting, we had a very frank and intense exchange of opinion, concerning the constitutional committee and political process in general," Mistura said to reporters, following the meeting.
Earlier in the day, al-Muallem said, the Syrian constitution is a sovereign matter, which should be decided without foreign interference. The Syrian government has positively dealt with the process of forming a constitutional committee, to discuss the constitution, he added.
The constitutional committee is expected to include 150 members, equally divided into three groups, one chosen by the government, the second by the opposition and the third by de Mistura himself.
In recent remarks, ahead of his visit to Damascus, de Mistura said, the objection remains, mainly from the government, over the third list that the UN is tasked with, to include civil society representatives, religious and tribal leaders, experts and women in the committee.
The 71-year-old UN envoy, who said he will resign at the end of Nov, for "purely personal reasons" and whose successor has not yet been named, expressed hope to "be in a position" to convene the constitutional committee in Nov.
Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, met with visiting Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergey Vershinin, on Oct 19, to discuss the political process in Syria.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK