Co-chair of the Constitutional Committee, Hadi al-Bahra, said that he puts what happened during this session in a positive framework despite no joint session was held among the participating delegations. He said that there is a lesson learned from this round, namely the importance of adherence to the rules of procedure and agreeing on an agenda before the start of the next round.
Speaking at a press conference at the end of the session, Al-Bahra pointed out that the session included consultations through the UN envoy. He described these consultations as positive and within the framework of the Committee's work and in the framework of making progress in the future. He added that this session clearly defined the correct basis for the continuation of this process within the framework of the Constitutional Committee’s mandate and the need to abide by its rules of procedure.
Al-Bahra stressed that the ideas and consultations that took place during the session will help push forward the work in the next sessions, praising the active role of the United Nations in facilitating these consultations and activating intra-Syrian dialogue.
“We hoped and sought to hold meetings but we did not succeed in this,” Al-Bahra said, expressing their determination to continue the work as he stressed the need to hold the next round on a clear basis starting with a real agenda dealing with the mandate of the Constitutional Committee and its main task of drafting a new constitution for Syria.
Members of the Committee have a basic task, which is key to the political process and to finding a solution leading to the full implementation of UN Security Council resolution 2254 under which the Constitutional Committee was formed, he added.
Moreover, Al-Bahra reaffirmed the Commission’s determination to end the suffering of the Syrian people, lift the sanctions, stop the barrel bombing, shelling and killing, and reach a political solution that leads to the implementation of international resolutions.
He pointed out that the framework of the Committee is specific and linked to specific mandate and procedural rules, so this Committee is not tasked with discussing any issues outside this framework. “There is a lesson learned from this round, namely to abide by the rules of procedure that require the co-chairs of the Committee to agree on a clear agenda 72 hours before the start of the sessions.”
Al-Bahra stressed the need for the co-chairs to interact positively and abide by the rules of procedure to agree on an agenda before the start of the next session. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
Head of the Syrian Negotiations Commission, Nasr Al-Hariri, met with co-chair of the Constitutional Committee, Hadi Al-Bahra, and the delegation of the Commission in Geneva.
Al-Hariri listened to an extensive explanation of the five proposals Al-Bahra presented to the UN envoy to Syria, Geir Pedersen, to reach an agreement on the agenda of the session. An agreement was not reached because of the regime’s insistence on discussing what it called “the national principles.”
Al-Bahra stressed that the delegation of the Syrian Negotiations Commission will work with the international envoy until the last hour of the last day and make every effort to convene the Committee. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian National Coalition’s Secretary General, Abdelbaset Abdullatif, on Friday met with French political advisor on Syria, Fabrice Desplechin, and discussed with him the latest on the ground and political developments in Syria as well as the Constitutional Committee.
Participants in the meeting included member of the political committee, Bahjat al-Atassi, Salim al-Khatib, and member of the political committee and Department of Foreign Relations, and member of the political committee and Coordinator of the Office of Refugees and Displaced Persons Amal Sheikhou.
Abdullatif talked about the latest grave escalation by the Assad regime and its allies in rural Idlib, noting the need for the international community to intervene to impose a ceasefire and to take concrete action to ensure an end to the criminal attacks targeting vital centers and residential neighborhoods in Idlib province, and to do everything to ensure the protection for civilians.
The meeting touched on the regime’s prevarication and its attempts to disrupt the work of the Constitutional Committee. Abdullatif pointed to the need of implementing international resolutions, especially the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Resolution 2254 in the order they were spelled out.
Members of the Coalition stressed that the Assad regime has been pursuing a military solution from the outset, making it clear that the goal of the Syrian people has always been to regain freedom, justice, and equality.
Member of the political committee, Salim al-Khatib, said that the new constitution can be drafted only in a safe environment, adding that the Assad regime's attempts to disrupt the work of the Constitutional Committee is detrimental to everyone, including the regime itself. He also said that holding parliamentary elections before the drafting of a new constitution will be illegal.
Both sides stressed the importance of preserving the strong relationship between the Syrian and French peoples and continued coordination with the Syrian National Coalition. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
As part of the efforts of the Syrian Interim Government to maintain security and stability in the liberated areas, the Ministry of Interior is working to establish a police force in accordance with modern standards. The elements of the police force and public security will be committed to their duties and the tasks assigned to them in order to combat crime and impose the rule of law.
Interior Minister Colonel Mohieaddin Harmoush said that the ministry’s special committees conducted medical, physical and educational tests for applicants to the civilian police force in the towns of Tel Abyad in rural Raqqa and Ras Al-Ayn in rural Al-Hasakah at the headquarters of the Security Directorate in Afrin.
Harmoush stressed the importance of cooperation between the Ministry of Interior and other SIG’s ministries in order to integrate government work. He said that ensuring security and stability in the liberated areas is the first step to the success of SIG’s plan of action. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
Co-chair of the Constitutional Committee, Hadi Al-Bahra, said that the delegation of the Syrian Negotiations Commission put forward five proposals to the UN envoy, Geir Pedersen, concerning the agenda of the current round of discussions. He said that the delegation of the Assad regime rejected these proposals and insisted that the discussions must be limited to the so-called “national principles.” He noted that the regime’s delegation also insisted on entering the meeting room without an agreement on a clear agenda for the discussions.
At a press conference on Thursday, Al-Bahra said that as per the rules of procedure of the work of the Constitutional Committee, the co-chairs of the Committee must agree on an agenda 72 hours before the start of the second round of discussions.
The delegation of the Syrian Negotiations Commission put forward a proposal four days before the start of the second round of talks, he added. “We distributed our proposal to the media and sent it to the office of the UN Envoy. But the delegation of intelligence services and their Iranian master rejected these proposals and demanded an agenda outside the context of work Constitutional Committee, calling it the national principles.”
Moreover, Al-Bahra stressed that the “delegation of the regime of barrel bombs is clearly working under orders from its Iranian operator and insisting on disrupting the whole process.”
“We have made it clear to the UN envoy that the national principles have already been determined by the Syrian people according to the constitutions they voted on freely and according to the documents adopted to form the Constitutional Committee.” He said that these documents include the 12 Living Intra-Syrian Essential Principles that were laid out in Geneva and adopted in Sochi Conference and enclosed in the decision to form the Constitutional Committee.
Al-Bahra pointed out that they submitted a simpler proposal but was also rejected despite that it was at the heart of the work of the Constitutional Committee. He added that the regime also rejected the third proposal, noting that they presented two more proposals on Thursday, but were also rejected by the regime.
Al-Bahra showed the official paper presented by the delegation of the regime to journalists, saying that the regime’s delegation demanded that the delegations enter the meeting room and each delegation begins to discuss what it deems appropriate. “It is as if we came to a cultural forum to hold a dialogue while blood is being shed in Syria and barrel bombs are being rained on our people.”
Furthermore, Al-Bahra stressed that the delegation of the Syrian Negotiations Commission is on a national mission to end the siege on the Syrian people, put an end to the military operations, put an end to the injustice against the Syrian people, and achieve a real, genuine political transition that brings peace to Syria.
Al-Bahra went on to say that Friday is the last day of this second round of discussions, noting that the delegation of the Syrian Negotiations Commission will spare no effort until the last hour to start the work of the Committee. He pointed out that the talks must proceed in accordance with the rules of procedure agreed upon by all parties and in accordance with the mandate given to it, namely to draw up a draft constitution for Syria.
Al-Bahra concluded his remarks by stressing that the international community and the states that supported the formation of the Constitutional Committee are fully responsible for pushing towards positive performance by all delegations in the work of the Constitutional Committee. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
Syria’s Ambassador to Qatar Nizar Al-Haraki on Thursday met with Director General of Qatar’s Regulatory Authority for Charitable Activities (RACA) Ibrahim Abdullah al-Duhaimi and discussed with him the dire humanitarian situation in northern Syria and the IDP camps in the border area.
The two sides discussed ways to step up support for humanitarian organizations and charities operating in the liberated areas and IDP camps.
The two sides stressed the importance of the delivery of aid to as many IDP as possible and coping with the continued waves of displacement in northwestern Syria and the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the region.
Al-Haraki stressed that with the onset of winter and the decline of temperatures, the IDP are at the risk of suffering harsh conditions. He called for taking all possible measures to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in the region. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian National Coalition’s political committee on Thursday held a regular meeting, with the discussion focusing on the grave situation in Idlib province, the work of the Constitutional Committee in Geneva, and attempts by the Assad regime’s delegation to disrupt the work of the Committee.
The committee discussed the Assad regime and allies’ serious military escalation in Idlib province and the tragic situation in the IDP camps, especially with the onset of winter. The situation further deteriorated following the recent attacks on the oil refineries in northern rural Aleppo. The committee called on the international community to assume its responsibilities with regards to the protection of civilians.
The committee talked via a video link with representatives of the Syrian National Coalition in the Constitutional Committee in Geneva. Members of the Constitutional Committee briefed the political committee on the most important events of the second round of the meetings of the Constitutional Committee and on attempts by the regime delegation to disrupt the work of the committee through trying the politicize the agenda outside the mandate of the Committee.
President of the Syrian Coalition Anas Al-Abda stressed that the Assad regime's delegation should not be allowed to achieve any political gains through procrastination and attempts to disrupt the work of the Constitutional Committee in Geneva. He called on the international community to deter such attempts or the regime will continue with its intransigence which risks derailing the course of the Constitutional Committee.
The political committee stressed the need to draft a new constitution for the country and to take serious steps towards reaching a political solution and put an end to the suffering of the Syrian people. He pointed to the importance of full implementation of relevant international resolutions on Syria, especially the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Resolution 2254. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
As part of the activities of the communications office of the Syrian Negotiations Commission, Co-chairman of the Constitutional Committee, Hadi Al-Bahra, and the accompanying delegation in Geneva on Wednesday briefed the Commission and its representatives in the Constitutional Committee on the outcome of the first three days of the second round of meetings of the Constitutional Committee.
Speaking from Geneva via a video link, Al-Bahra talked in detail about the discussions that were held with the UN envoy to Syria, Geir Pedersen over the past few days to agree on the agenda of the second round of talks. He pointed out that the Commission put forward three proposals, the first of which was made on November 21, a few days before the start of the talks with the aim of saving time and the completion of some papers of the Constitution.
Al-Bahra pointed out that the delegation of the Assad regime did not put forward any proposals for the agenda until the first day of the meetings of the Committee in which they insisted that the discussions must focus on the so-called “national principles.”
Moreover, Al-Bahra stressed that the delegation of the Syrian Negotiations Commission agreed to discuss the paper which was put forward by the regime within the fundamental principles, political principles, and the introduction to the constitution and within the framework of the Committee’s mandate. The Assad regime’s delegation, nonetheless, insisted on discussing the paper outside the constitutional framework.
Al-Bahra said that the Commission’s delegation will return to the UN Office to work with the UN envoy and his team to complete the session. He stressed that the Syrian people everywhere across Syria are waiting for the Constitutional Committee to make progress and bring an end to the ongoing nightmare. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
The delegation of the Syrian Negotiations Commission in the Constitutional Committee arrived at the United Nations Office in Geneva on Wednesday to work with the UN envoy Geir Pedersen on finding a formula of understanding on the agenda of the meeting. The Assad regime’s delegation is refusing to engage in the talks of the Constitutional Committee.
In a press conference on Wednesday, Co-chair of the Constitutional Committee Hadi al-Bahra said that the delegation of the Syrian Negotiations Commission had proposed an agenda for the second round of talks on November 21, “but the delegation of the tyrannical regime did not submit any paper as a proposal for the agenda and postponed it to the first day of the meeting.”
Al-Bahra pointed out that the delegation of the Syrian Negotiations Commission presented three alternative proposals. The first was a detailed proposal within the framework of the mandate of the Constitutional Committee. The second proposal included the basic principles, political principles, and the introduction of the Constitution, including the discussion of national fundamental principles but within the framework of the mandate of the Committee. The third proposal was limited to the agenda and focused on studying the principles, including all that can be included in the basic principles of any constitution drafted in any country in the world, including Syria, within the historical Syrian constitutional context.
Moreover, Al-Bahra pointed out that the Assad regime rejected all the three proposals and did not provide alternatives. He noted that the regime proposed a paper under the title ‘the national fundamental principles.’ He stressed that those principles cannot be determined by a regime that displaced half of the Syrian people as well as detained hundreds of thousands of young men, girls and women in Syria. He added that the fundamental national interests were mentioned in the previous Syrian constitutions and were approved by the Syrian people.
He pointed out that the Assad regime is seeking to waste time. “We do not have much time to waste. Our people in Syria are being killed. There is ongoing destruction. There are tragedies affecting our people and we must seek radical solutions to them.”
Al-Bahra also stressed that the delegation of the Syrian Negotiations Commission in the Constitutional Committee is ready to participate immediately in the meetings of the drafting body under a clear agenda and within the work of the Committee. “As you can see, we have stayed here so far while the delegation of the regime walked out and went to the hotel because it is not ready so sit for another hour and listen to our new proposals.” (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
As part of the efforts to mobilize international support for the Syrian Interim Government (SIG), Head of SIG Abdurrahman Mustafa on Wednesday met with Australian Ambassador to Ankara Marc Innes-Brow and discussed ways of coordination and cooperation between the Australian government and SIG.
Mustafa also met with Emily Wright, the Turkey desk officer for New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade at SIG’s representative office in the Turkish city of Gaziantep. The two sides discussed the situation in the newly liberated areas and the need to restore security and stability to those areas in order to encourage the return of refugees.
Mustafa said that that SIG prioritizes the provision of basic services to civilians, the establishment of civil and military courts, and the creation of the appropriate conditions for a decent life for the population. He pointed to coordination with the Turkish brothers in all that serves the common interests of the two peoples.
Moreover, Mustafa met with Lucy John, the political officer in charge of the Syrian file at the British Embassy at SIG’s Representative Office in Gaziantep. The two sides discussed the overall situation in the liberated areas.
Mustafa said that SIG is avidly seeking to restore stability and security to the liberated areas in order to allow the return of their people, stressing that SIG has taken all necessary measures to do so and working to prevent abuses. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)