On the Syrian Constitutional Committee in Geneva

Morgan Ortagus, Department Spokesperson

The United States continues to support the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, and the UN Special Envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen, in their efforts to facilitate the work of the Syria Constitutional Committee. This past week, the drafting committees had the second round of meetings which were meant to move the process forward of drafting a constitution that reflects the will of the entirety of the Syrian people.

The Assad regime delegation came to the second round requesting preconditions before they were willing to meet to discuss these constitutional principles. The requested preconditions from the Assad regime clearly violate the constitutional committee’s rules of procedure and are a blatant attempt to delay the work of an important effort that is supported by both the Small Group and Astana Group.

The constitutional committee cannot be the only UN Security Council Resolution 2254 line of effort pursued by the international community. Other elements of the resolution must be pursued in parallel including the release of detainees, a nationwide ceasefire, and establishing a safe and neutral environment in order for free and fair elections under UN full supervision.