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EghtesadOnline: The formation of Syria's long-awaited constitutional committee heralds the beginning of a “difficult” and “lengthy” process toward finding a political solution to the Arab country's problems, Iran's top diplomat said.

"The international community should support a political solution to the Syrian conflict. There is no military way out of Syria's crisis," Mohammad Javad Zarif said during a joint press conference with his Turkish and Russian counterparts on Tuesday after a meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, within the framework of the Astana peace process, ISNA reported citing TASS news agency. 

He also warned against exaggerating the importance of the committee, saying there are other issues that need to be addressed separately such as humanitarian problems, prisoners and refugees who must be repatriated successfully. 

Syria has been engaged in a civil war on multiple fronts since 2011, which has killed hundreds of thousands of people and forced millions to flee in the worst refugee crisis since World War II, according to Financial Tribune.

Peace talks were brokered by the United Nations in Geneva, while Iran, Russia and Turkey initiated a parallel process in the Kazakhstan capital Nur-Sultan (Astana), acting as guarantors of Syrian peace process. 

On Monday, after almost two years of negotiations, the composition of Syria’s Constitutional Committee made up of opposition, civil society and government members was finalized.  

The 150-member committee, proposed during a peace conference hosted by Russia in January 2018, will rewrite the Syrian Constitution. 

"What matters is that the process is acceptable for the Syrian people and indicates the fruitfulness of their efforts," Zarif said. 



Joint Statement 

At the end of their Tuesday meeting with UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen, Zarif, together with his Russian and Turkish counterparts, Sergey Lavrov and Mevlut Cavusoglu, issued a joint communiqué, stating that the three states are committed to guarantee the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Syria, emphasizing that these principles should be respected by all parties. 

They reiterated their respective countries' strong resolve to fight terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and to confront the separatist agenda on the Syrian land, Press TV reported. 

The three diplomats also welcomed the formation of Syria’s Constitutional Committee and its inception in Geneva on Oct. 30, lauding the effective assistance of the three guarantor states and Pedersen's efforts in this regard.

They highlighted that the launch of the committee attests to the fact that there is no military solution to the Syrian conflict, reaffirms their commitment to continue the ongoing Syrian-Syrian political process and facilitate the United Nations efforts in line with UN Security Council resolutions on Syria.

The foreign ministers added that the work of the committee should be conducted with a sense of compromise and constructive engagement, and without foreign interference to receive the widest possible support of the Syrian people.

The foreign ministers of Iran, Russia and Turkey underlined the importance of a broader Syria settlement process to promote increased humanitarian aid for all people across the war-ravaged country without preconditions and discrimination.


Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif Syria Constitutional Committee Political Solution