Head of the Syrian Negotiations Commission, Nasr Al-Hariri, and Co-chair of the Constitutional Committee, Hadi Al-Bahrah, met with the US President’s envoy to Syria, James Jeffrey, and the State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary for Levant Affairs and Special Envoy for Syria, Joel Rayburn, in Istanbul, Turkey.
The two sides discussed the latest field developments, especially the Assad regime and its allies’ onslaught on civilians in Idlib province. The Commission called for the imposition of a ceasefire and ensuring protection for civilians.
The Coalition stressed that the shelling of civilians and vital civilian centers, such as medical facilities and service centers, is aimed at disrupting the political process.
The two sides discussed the political process in all its aspects, most notably the work of the Constitutional Committee which concluded its first meeting in Geneva on Friday. Al-Bahra gave an overview on the progress of the work of the first session as he stressed that members of the Constitutional Committee are on a purely Syrian national mission that is sovereign and independent. He also stressed the need for an effective UN role in the process as a facilitator.
Al-Bahra stressed that drafting a new constitution for the country does not represent a solution in itself, but is a gateway to the activation of the Geneva negotiating process, which includes three other baskets, especially the two baskets of governance and elections leading to complete implementation of the relevant international resolutions, especially UN resolution 2118 (2013), and resolution 2254 (2015).
For their part, the US officials expressed their support for a ceasefire as they stressed the importance of protecting civilians and stopping the aggression on Idlib.
The US diplomats commended the positive engagement of the Syrian Negotiations Commission and its representatives in the Constitutional Committee and in the management of the meetings. They said that this proved the Commission’s commitment to finding a political solution in Syria.
They also made it clear that they share the Commission’s vision for a solution in Syria that is based on the complete implementation of UN Resolution 2254. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)