Security Council: Syria,

Geir O. Pedersen, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria, said that on 30 October, 150 men and women gathered in Geneva to launch a Syrian-led, Syrian-owned, credible, balanced and inclusive Constitutional Committee facilitated by the United Nations.  There were 50 members nominated by each of three sectors:  the Syrian Government, the opposition Syrian Negotiations Commission and the so-called “middle third” made up of society activists and experts and other independents from inside and outside Syria. […]

Jeffrey (United States) said the ongoing negotiations in Geneva can lead the way to a resolution of the conflict in Syria, if supported by the Council.  “Just think of what we have seen since this Council last met to talk about Syria,” he said, citing a major new Turkish combat operation in the north-east and fresh airstrikes in the north-west, where several State military forces are present.  “Blame needs to be placed on the Iranian Government” for moving long-range missiles into Syria and continuing ground strikes through its proxies, he said.  Expressing support for Israel’s right to self-defence, he went on to call for a nationwide ceasefire in Syria and for unrelenting pressure from the international community.  In addition, there can be no reconstruction assistance to areas controlled by Damascus until a credible political process is underway, in line with resolution 2254 (2015), he said, noting that such reconstruction assistance would be premature at this time. […]

Dmitry A. Polyanskiy(Russian Federation), expressing hope that the Constitutional Committee will proceed successfully in its work, said:  “This is just the start of a long and difficult process.”  However, it is unacceptable for outside players to interfere in the Committee’s work or impose artificial deadlines.  The Astana guarantors — Iran, Turkey and the Russian Federation — stand ready to provide continued support to the parties based on the principle of unswerving respect for Syria’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. […]

Bashar Jaáfari (Syria) “This dialogue is, first and foremost, one between Syrians,” he stressed, noting that the external interference is the greatest threat being faced by members of the Committee.  Recalling that Turkey invaded Syria and occupied its territory, he said some parties have expressed their support for the Constitutional Committee in a “very strange way”.  In other examples, the United States grabbed the country’s oil resources and installed forces on Syrian land, while Israel grabbed the occupied Syrian Golan in violation of the 1973 Agreement on Disengagement of Forces between Israel and Syria.  The Syrian people categorically refuse occupation by any terrorist groups, he said, rejecting all unilateral coercive measures and other forms of economic terrorism. Läs referatet