Saudi Arabia welcomes creation of UN-sponsored constitutional panel on Syria

Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the UN, Abdallah al-Mouallimi.

:: Saudi Arabia welcomed on Monday the creation of a United Nations-sponsored constitutional committee by the Syrian government and the opposition, after two years of negotiations.

Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the UN, Abdallah al-Mouallimi, told the Security Council at its monthly meeting in New York on the conflict in Syria, that the Kingdom welcomes this announcement “which is in accordance with the UN Resolution 2254.”

Saudi Arabia considers it a vital step toward reaching a political solution which will put an end to the Syrian people’s plight, guaranteeing a safe return of the Syrian refugees, he said.

Al-Mouallimi said that the meeting comes amid difficult challenges in the Middle East, “but what was announced earlier this week sends a glimmer of hope on the situation in Syria,” stressing that the Syrian negotiating committee showed cooperation with the UN envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen, whose efforts are commendable.

“In response to the requirements of this phase, the Syrian negotiating committee will hold a meeting of its candidates for the constitutional committee and its advisors to prepare the constitutional papers for this purpose, in Riyadh on October 7,” he added.

The Saudi ambassador to the UN added: “The government of my country calls on the Syrian authorities to seize this opportunity and to engage seriously and honestly at the first meeting of the constitutional committee to be held at the end of October and not to hinder it. It must prevail in order to lift Syria out of its long-standing crisis eight years ago, and exploited by the enemies of the Syrian people and the enemies of the Arab nation to implement foreign agendas aimed at plunging the region into destruction as part of a destructive sectarian policies that seek to engulf the region and keep it burning in the service of these agendas.”

“We must realize that the Iranian-backed terrorist sectarian militias that have penetrated into Syrian territory have played a key role in the destruction that has taken place in Syria. Therefore, any solution to the Syrian issue requires the removal of these militias from Syrian territory, and Iran must realize that Syria is an Arab country and its natural place is among its Arab brothers and its blatant interference in Syria is the best proof that the terrorist regime of Iran has transformed it from a normal state that respects international conventions and laws and good neighborliness to a rogue state that is wreaking havoc on the ground regardless of the suffering of the people of the region as a result,” he said.

Al-Mouallimi said “The government of my country rejects and condemns the killing and displacement of civilians and the use of chemical weapons in Syria, and calls for holding accountable the perpetrators of these inhumane crimes. The crimes committed in Idlib should be halted immediately and unconditionally. The Saudi Kingdom supports the Syrian people with all honest ways to put Syria back on track and to spare its people further destruction and suffering, and to ensure the safe return of refugees in accordance with international laws.”

The UN envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen, said during the UN Security Council monthly meeting on Monday that the committee’s formation marked the first concrete political agreement between the government and the opposition.

“It is also a shared promise to the Syrian people to try to agree under the auspices of the United Nations on new constitutional arrangements for Syria – a new social contract to help repair a broken country,” he said.

The committee’s 150 members are supposed to hold their first meeting on October 30 in Geneva.

The committee’s revision of the constitution is viewed by the UN as a first step toward holding elections that would include the Syrian diaspora.

Last week, the Syrian regime stressed that no deadline has been set for the committee to conclude its work.

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