UN envoy discusses formation of constitutional committee with Syrian FM

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DAMASCUS, April 14 (Xinhua) -- The UN envoy to Syria Geir Pedersen discussed the formation of the constitutional committee with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem in Damascus on Sunday, state news agency SANA reported.

They discussed the exerted efforts in the political track for resolving the Syrian crisis, including the formation of the constitutional committee, SANA said.

Pedersen briefed al-Moallem on his activities since his last visit to Syria's capital Damascus in March.

No more details were given about the meeting.

Pedersen, who arrived in Damascus on Saturday afternoon, told reporters after the first session of his meetings on Sunday morning that his talks with Syrian officials are covering all issues.

"We have had very detailed substantial discussions and we are continuing the discussions this afternoon, so it's fair to say we are now addressing all issues," he said.

It's worth noting that throughout his previous visits to Syria, Pedersen had been discussing the formation of a constitutional committee which would be tasked with discussing and suggesting amendments to the Syrian constitution.

The Syrian government has been reluctant to allow any foreign interference with the constitution, saying this is a sovereign matter.

In January, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said there is no timeframe to launch the constitutional committee in Syria, but the work needs to be done as quickly as possible.

He said Syria needs a constitutional committee "indeed balanced" and accepted by all Syrian people.

The launch of a Syrian constitutional committee has become the centerpiece of UN peace efforts in the country, and its goal is to hold elections that can end eight years of devastating war. Enditem

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