The Syrian Foreign Ministry says the United States is
attempting to meddle in the process to draft a new constitution for Syria.
In a statement, carried by Syria’s official SANA news
agency, an official source at Syria’s Foreign Ministry said on Sunday that
Washington was trying to impose its own agenda on the Syrian Constitutional
Composed of 50 members from the Damascus government, 50
opposition members, and 50 independent figures chosen by the United Nations
(UN), the committee is mandated, within the context of a UN-facilitated Geneva
process, to draft and prepare for popular approval constitutional reforms
paving the way for a political settlement in the post-war Arab country.
The statement came a day after the US State Department
criticized the Syrian government for the preconditions it requested during the
first day of the second round of the constitutional talks in Geneva on November
Damascus’ delegation proposed three new items to be put on
the agenda and reportedly left the session when they were not accepted by some
representatives of local NGOs. Fighting terrorism, the lifting of sanctions on
Syria, and the condemnation of Turkey’s cross-border offensive in northern
Syria were the three proposals.
SANA further quoted the Foreign Ministry official as saying
that any opinion or statement by the US or any other state was of no value and
would not “affect the work of the committee and the nature of its dialogues and
its form and content.”
“The government of the Syrian Arab Republic confirms that
this dialogue is a Syrian-Syrian one and no one has the right to interfere in
it or support any party under any pretext,” the official said.
The official also emphasized that the role of the UN,
represented by its Special Envoy to Syria Geir Pedersen, is only limited to
facilitating the discussions of the committee.
Damascus has said time and again that the new Syrian
constitution is a purely Syrian affair, to be decided by the Syrian people
alone without any foreign interference.
Pedersen, too, has stressed the full commitment of the UN to
the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of the Arab country.
An agreement was made for the formation of the UN-backed
Syrian Constitutional Committee in the Russian town of Sochi last year.