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Moscow Submits Draft of New Syria Constitution to Opposition | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Turkish Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Sedat Onal, left, and Kazakh Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov shake hands, as Russia’s special envoy on Syria Alexander Lavrentiev and Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Jaber Ansari, right, shake hands and UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura stand during Astana talks. AP

Moscow – Despite all confirmations that Astana talks will only address military aspect related to implementing ceasefire in Syria, the Russian delegation participating in the Syrian peace talks in the Kazakh capital submitted a solution for the Syrian opposition’s delegation based on drafting a new constitution and carrying out parliamentary and presidential elections in their country.

“The negotiations with the armed Syrian opposition recognized as a whole the importance of the launch of a political process and the need to start work on elaborating a new Constitution of Syria, the need for its eventual adoption either through a referendum or in another acceptable form upon the expression of the will of the Syrian people and the need for the subsequent parliamentary and presidential elections,” Russia’s envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentiev’s said.

Russia has given rebels a draft version of a new constitution for Syria drawn up by Moscow to speed up political negotiations to end the conflict, the Kremlin’s envoy said Tuesday.

“We have handed the Syrian armed opposition a draft constitution of Syria prepared by Russian specialists for them to study,” Lavrentiev told reporters.

“We did this exclusively to accelerate the process” to end the war.

“We believe that this process should be led by the Syrian people,” he said.

Kazakhstan’s capital turned out to be the right choice for holding negotiations on Syria, he went on.

“The presence of the Syrian delegation and their consent for direct contacts in the same hall indicate that the venue was chosen correctly. We would have probably failed to persuade them to join the talks elsewhere,” Lavrentiev said, adding that Russia, Iran, and Turkey demonstrated full readiness for cooperation.

Regarding the situation in Wadi Barada, Lavrentiev said that Iran could participate in settling the situation near the Syrian capital of Damascus.

“I think we will exert efforts, without a doubt,” he said. “As far as I know, government troops are deployed to the Wadi Barada area, there are no Shia militias there,” he added.