Another Step Forward
In the past few days, the city of Geneva witnessed extensive international and Syrian moves to form, and launch the work of, the Constitutional Reform Committee. The preliminary results indicate significant progress in this context, with the guarantors stressing the continuation of the process until its completion. In addressing the different attitude that have emerged toward this political and diplomatic movement, a number of issues must be emphasized:
The mere acceptance of the principle of the Committee is no longer sufficient. The formation of the Committee has been a matter of course, and an inevitable outcome. What is urgent today, however, is to overcome those obstacles, both real and fabricated, and to abandon the procrastination and delay in initiating the work of the Committee by some opposition parties, some of whom are still living in the illusion of "the legitimate and sole representative", as it appears through their behavior, or by trying to find excuses to avoid participating in the process, based on military developments on the ground, under the ongoing work to end the armed presence in the south. And if there is some relation between the two matters, the situation requires speeding up the process of formation of the Committee, not the opposite, i.e. not to make of it a new pretext to obstruct the process.
There is no room here for international quotas in the formation of the Committee, between countries adopting the list of the regime, and others adopting the formation the opposition list, because the task of all international parties are, in principal, lies in working together to open the way for the Syrians to reach what is desired, and remove obstacles, and find a consensus between them about disagreements in case they emergence. This should be in line with the spirit and provisions of all international resolutions related to the Syrian crisis.
The constitution, whether it underwent an amendment or renewal, is a Syrian affair, and the Syrians are the main decision-makers. The committee should include as much of the Syrians' spectrum as possible without exclusion of anyone except those who exclude themselves. This is to be based on the provisions of international resolutions and as a legitimate right exclusively for the Syrian people.
The Astana process was a serious breakthrough, when it was launched, and a creative solution to overcome the stalemate in the political process. The achieved work has been accomplished by joint work of the Troika parties, regardless of the different roles and goals. The Syrian National Dialogue Conference in Sochi came as a logical completion of that process. Thereof emerged the idea of a Committee for Constitutional Reform, which ended the arguments of all parties, and ended the debate on the priorities, especially after the participation of the United Nations, and adoption of the outcomes of the Conference by the international organization, despite the hesitation and intransigence of many parties – local, Syrian and regional. Today, with the start of the procedural aspect of the formation of the Committee, the concrete task – which faces the Syrians, and the criterion of how serious is any attitude toward the political solution, and thus the criterion of how much one cares for the future of the country, and its integrity, unity, and sovereignty, and for the Syrian people right to radical and comprehensive national democratic change – is to consider that the formation of the Constitutional Committee is the measure in which condensed all the accumulation of previous years towards the desired political solution.
Kassioun Editorial, Issue No 867, June 25, 2018