The sixth round of the Constitutional Committee and the political solution complex in Syria The sixth round of the Constitutional Committee and the political solution complex in Syria

The sixth round of the Constitutional Committee and the political solution complex in Syria


The sixth round of the Constitutional Committee and the political solution complex in Syria


The idea of ​​forming a constitutional committee to prepare a new constitution for Syria emerged at the Sochi conference in January 2018, with the agreement of the three guarantor countries: Russia, Turkey and Iran.

The idea was consistent with the four files agreed upon in the Geneva negotiations on the Syrian crisis, which in total formed a vision for a political solution in Syria, and these files are the constitution, elections, governance and terrorism.

On the eighteenth of October 2021, the sixth session of the Syrian Constitutional Committee's discussions began, after the Syrian regime deliberately suspended it for more than 9 months. The regime responded, as usual, in form, with the content being tainted, just as the opposition tried to maneuver its limited margins. The course dealt with the topics of "the army, the armed forces, security and intelligence, the rule of law, the sovereignty of the state, terrorism and extremism."

It lasted for a week, but it did not come up with anything practical except agreeing to hold the next round within a month from its date, but it is unlikely that it will be held at the same agreed time.

A day before the committee's work, the UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen held a press conference at the UN headquarters in Geneva, in which he spoke about his meeting with the two co-chairs, Ahmed Kuzbari from the Syrian government side, and Hadi Al-Bahra from the Syrian opposition.

The Special Envoy had also met with the so-called "middle third" or fifteen members of civil society. He described the meetings as very good. "It was the first time that my two co-chairs, one nominated by the government and the other by the opposition, sat down with me for a substantive and frank discussion on how to move forward with constitutional reform, and in detail how we plan for the week ahead," he told reporters. When asked about his assessment of the first face-to-face meeting between the co-chairs, Pederson said: "I think I would describe it as serious and frank, and they were committed to the principles we agreed upon beforehand."

However, the Special Envoy acknowledged that the Syrian Constitutional Committee is an important contributor to the political process, but that the Committee by itself will not be able to resolve the Syrian crisis. "So, we need to work together, do serious work on the constitutional committee, but also address other aspects of the Syrian crisis."

Undoubtedly, Russia has put pressure on the Syrian regime to engage in a new round of constitutional committee discussions, with the aim of giving more assurances about its continued ability to influence the political process, in conjunction with its efforts to complete the path of Arab and international normalization.

The importance of the Constitutional Committee for Russia lies in maintaining a dysfunctional political path that is controlled by it under the cover of the United Nations, but at the same time it is trying hard to find political paths that are fully controlled by it so that the Constitutional Committee is one of those paths in a political process according to the Russian vision.

The meetings of the Constitutional Committee began, the sixth round, after the UN envoy to Syria visited the "controlling decision capitals in Syria" in order to obtain approval for holding this round, but he was nevertheless cautious in his expectations for the results of this round.

The participants in the tour from the parties of the regime, the opposition and civil society began to discuss the constitutional contents, which seemed to be a step forward, but as it was expected that no major breakthroughs could take place in the process of writing the constitution, there are no indications that the Syrian regime will abandon its policy of wasting time, unless It ensures that the constitutional reform process is limited to mere cosmetic and worthless constitutional amendments.

The Syrian regime, through its participation in any political process, proves that it has no desire to make any significant concessions, and this will not change even in the upcoming rounds.

The Syrian regime also practiced in this session what it used to do in all previous sessions of wasting time by defrauding the meeting by raising issues that it is fully aware that the other side cannot agree to. The regime took advantage of the bombing of a bus in Damascus on October 20 to practice this policy extensively.

Since 2017, Russia began imposing its vision on the path of the political process, taking advantage of the decline in the influence of the Syrian opposition in the map of control and influence in favor of the Syrian regime, which was translated by submitting the discussion of the constitution basket on governance and political transition that the Syrian opposition had previously adhered to but failed to achieve.

Russia is also working to reduce the constitutional reform process to a simple amendment to the 2012 constitution, which leads to the formation of a national unity government, while the initial perceptions of the path were talking about a new constitution that would pave the way for discussing the rest of the issues in accordance with Resolution 2254 (2015).

It was clear from the performance of the regime’s delegation in this and previous sessions that it and its allies are working to empty the track of its content, with no objection to making concessions in form, with the aim of preventing the process from stopping permanently, as its survival, even at a minimum, helps Russia to promote its claims It expressed its desire and the regime to reach a political settlement, while working to pass its vision of the solution through other parallel tracks, some of an international and regional character and others of a local character.

In conclusion, the scene that took place in Geneva in the meetings of the sixth round of the Constitutional Committee confirms that the political process in Syria has become stalled or frozen, and that the parties to the conflict in Syria do not find any interest in moving forward with any political solution that ends the political and humanitarian “crisis of the age.” The Syrians have a long wait in the process of a political solution, especially since they are outside the equation of political action.(Mohamed Sarmini)

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