BEIRUT (Dispatches) – The United Nations is close to agreement with Syria on establishing a constitutional committee, the UN Secretary General’s Syria envoy Geir Pedersen told reporters on Wednesday.
The UN wants to convene the committee as a next step in efforts to find a political solution to end the war in Syria, but there has been no agreement so far on who should be on it.
The Norwegian diplomat took over from Staffan de Mistura in January.
In February, he senior UN official said his main goal was to negotiate an agreement between the two parties involved in the conflict.
"To be able to get to a situation, where you can say that we have been able to put eight years of conflict behind us and that we as Syrians agree that we will begin the process of creating a future for coming Syrians, that... would be the definition that we have been successful,” Pedersen commented.
He underlined that he saw the constitutional committee as "a potential door opener” for the political process to the crisis.
Pedersen said work was also needed on other issues, expressing hope to secure more cooperation from both the incumbent Syrian government led by President Bashar al-Assad as well as the Saudi-backed Syrian National Coalition (SNC).
The UN envoy for Syria also hoped to see more prisoner exchanges, and clarity on missing persons in the wake of a swap between the government and terrorist groups in the northwestern city of al-Bab.