UN envoy will not specify timeline, goals ahead of Syria talks



GENEVA (dpa)- Setting a timeline for the upcoming long-sought talks between the Syrian government and opposition would not be useful, UN envoy Geir Pedersen said Wednesday.
"There have been many timelines in this conflict. Usually when you set up a timeline, it is not met," the Syria envoy told a press conference in Geneva, ahead of the negotiations start in the Swiss UN city.




More than eight years into Syria's devastating war, a committee to draft a new Syrian constitution will start meeting on October 30.
Pedersen did not specify any benchmarks for a successful outcome but said: "After the first meeting I will tell you whether it has been successful or not."
The work of the committee will not solve the war in Syria, the Norwegian UN diplomat said.
"But a constitution could help to bridge differences in the Syrian society, could help to build trust, and it could also be a door-opener to a broader political process," Pedersen said.
The committee is to be made up of 150 members, with 50 government delegates, 50 opposition members, and civil society members chosen by the UN envoy to Syria.
A smaller committee of 45 government, opposition and UN-appointed delegates will carry out the actual drafting work.
Pedersen is scheduled to travel to Damascus for preparatory talks with the Syrian government next week. He is also set to meet opposition leaders before the Geneva conference.
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Thursday, October 3rd 2019
dpa
           


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