Turkish FM meets UN Syria envoy to discuss constitution committee

Turkish FM meets UN Syria envoy to discuss constitution committee
Turkey's foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has met UN Syria envoy Geir Pedersen to discuss stalled Syrian Constitutional Committee talks, amid criticism of Pedersen by the Syrian opposition.
2 min read
10 February, 2022
Cavusoglu and Pedersen met in the Turkish capital Ankara [Getty]

The UN's special envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen, met with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Wednesday, to discuss developments related to the UN-sponsored Syrian Constitutional Committee.

The meeting came amid criticism of Pedersen by the opposition Syrian National Coalition, who slammed his "step-by-step" approach to Syrian negotiations, saying it could embolden the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Turkey has given backing to the Syrian opposition and broke off relations with the Assad regime in 2011, when the regime brutally suppressed protests demanding democracy.

The UN has led a process to draft a new constitution for Syria, involving representatives from the regime, the opposition, and civil society groups.

However, the last round of Constitutional Committee talks ended in October without any progress, and Pedersen implied at the time that the regime was stalling them.

The talks have dragged on for the past two and a half years with no sign of agreement between the regime and the opposition.

Cavusoglu however said that the Constitutional Committee talks were the most important platform for finding a political solution in Syria.

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The Turkish foreign minister has held a series of Syria-focused talks in recent weeks, meeting with his Jordanian counterpart Ayman Safadi in Amman on Sunday and with Syrian opposition representatives in Istanbul on Tuesday.

Turkey currently hosts approximately 3.5 million refugees from the Syrian conflict. More than 500,000 people have been killed and millions more displaced since the conflict started, mostly as a result of regime bombardment of civilian areas.