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Pedersen in Damascus: Fresh Talks to Form a New Constitution
By Staff, Agencies
The UN special envoy for Syria arrived in Damascus on Sunday for fresh talks on forming a committee tasked with drafting a new constitution for the war-ravaged country.
Geir Pedersen was set to meet with Foreign Minister Walid Moallem on Monday to discuss the committee.
On arrival in the Syrian capital, Pedersen said he was "looking very much forward" to his meeting with Moallem, recalling the "productive meetings" they had during his last visit in July.
The Norwegian diplomat, who took up the role in January, said progress has been made since.
On Wednesday, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said an agreement had been reached concerning the formation of the body.
The committee is set to include 150 members, a third picked by the Syrian government, another by the opposition and the remaining third by the United Nations.
Besides its composition, the mechanisms that will govern the committee's work have yet to be agreed upon, prompting fears among diplomats that concrete progress is still months away.
According to AaWatan daily, Pedersen could make a formal announcement on the constitutional committee at the UN General Assembly, which opens in New York this week.
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