UN says drafting new Syria constitution will begin Monday

The 150-member committee selected to write a new constitution for Syria agreed Friday on a 45-member drafting body that will begin work on Monday, a first step on what UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres hopes will be a road to peace.

UN special envoy Geir Pedersen, who is facilitating meetings of the constitutional committee in Geneva, said late Friday its "dignified and forward-looking" opening session on Wednesday was followed by two days of "very successful" meetings.

At those meetings, he said, the 150 committee members were invited to make opening statements offering initial ideas on constitutional issues and suggestions for the drafting body.

He told reporters after the three days of initial meetings ended it is not surprising that after more than 8 years of conflict in Syria, as "there are deep differences, a lot of suspicion, and a lack of trust."

But Pedersen said the fact that representatives from the government, opposition and civil society "have been sitting together, respecting each other, talking to each other ... was quite impressive."

Source: VOV5