Sputnik          13/02/2018

Damascus is unwilling to go ahead with a constitutional reform in the country and such position is not constructive with regard to the latest diplomatic efforts onSyrian settlement, including the recent Russia-initiated Sochi Congress, leader of the Astana platform of the Syrian opposition Randa Kassis told Sputnik.

Earlier on Tuesday, Ayman Soussan, an assistant to the Syrian Foreign Minister, was reported as saying that Syria is not bound by and has no relation with any committee that is not Syrian-formed, referring to a constitutional commission. Its formation was announced at the Sochi Congress of National Dialogue in January and handed over to UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura for finalization.

“For me it’s clear that they do not want to reform and to do anything, they do not want to rewrite the Constitution. And what about all efforts that Russia did in Sochi to start to resolve this problem?.. If they do not want to recognize the result of Sochi, why did they come to Sochi too?.. Is this mocking us?, ” Kassis said.

Kassis added she did not understand the government’s position.

“Why does the regime send [Syria’s UN envoy Bashar] Jaafari to Geneva if they do not want to discuss the possibility to rewrite the Constitution?” she said.

Jaafari is the head of the government delegation at Geneva Intra-Syrian talks, but he did not come to the Sochi Congress. The government side at the Congress was mainly represented by Ba’ath party members and lawmakers.

Kassis added that the position not only of the government, but also of the Riyadh-backed opposition was not constructive.

“On the one hand, we have the regime. On the other hand, we have the SNC [Syrian Negotiation Commission], who did not come to Sochi, who are not realistic. If they want to do something, to change, they need to be realistic, to be present everywhere. We just need to continue this path and efforts to rewrite the Constitution. We have to do it, because no one can start anything in Syria without a new constitution,” the opposition figure said.

The Syrian National Dialogue Congress was held in Russia’s Sochi last month. It brought together about 1,400 delegates from the Syrian government and various opposition groups who agreed to form the Constitutional Commission in Geneva to amend the existing legislation of the Middle Eastern nation.