Putin, Erdogan discussed the situation in Syria

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Erdogan, discussed in a phone call the situation in Syria in the context of the implementation of the October 22 Sochi memorandum. “Great attention was paid to the Syrian settlement. In the context of the implementation of the memorandum of understanding between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Turkey, adopted after the high-level talks in Sochi on October 22, 2019, the sides stressed the importance of continuing coordinated steps to stabilize the situation in the northeast of Syria in strict compliance with the principles of its territorial integrity, sovereignty and unity,” the Kremlin said. In addition, the presidents exchanged views on the situation in the Idlib de-escalation zone, stressing the need for further joint efforts to implement the relevant Russian-Turkish agreements reached in September 2018. The two leaders also welcomed the results of the first meeting of the Syrian Constitutional Committee, which convened in Geneva on October 30. The Kremlin added that the two had noted the “decisive contribution of the guarantor countries of the Astana process to the preparation of this event.”

Delegation supported by the Syrian Government tried to create common ground based on national constants

Head of the delegation supported by the Syrian Government to the Committee of Discussing the Constitution Dr. Ahmad al-Kuzbari stressed that the committee’s work focuses on discussing constitutional reform that may be amending some articles of the current constitution.

Al-Kuzbari said, during a press conference in Geneva at the end of the meetings of the mini-committee, that the delegation tried, since the beginning of the meetings, to create a common ground with other parties built on national constants accepted by all Syrians which are Syria’s sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and the continued fight against terrorism.

He added that the delegation believes that every Syrian refuses occupying any part of Syrian territories and controlling their resources, emphasizing that all Syrians call for lifting unilateral coercive economic measures imposed on the Syrian people in various aspects of their life.

Head of the delegation said that the consensus among all parties on key issues provides common ground for real progress in the work of the committee.

Al-Kuzbari added that the delegation, since the beginning of the Committee’s work, submitted a proposal for an agenda that was agreed upon and approved by all parties on sorting ideas that have been inserted by members of the expanded committee into constitutional, legal and political ideas.

He affirmed that another paper was presented on the necessity of condemning all terrorist acts and extremist terrorist ideology and the work on the principle of combating terrorism in the upcoming constitutional reform project.

Al-Kuzbari pointed out to the great consensus on the issue of fighting terrorism. “There is also an international consensus, therefore, it could be developed as an idea and formulated as an article in the Constitution.”

Al-Kuzbari explained that the work of the committee is part of the political solution to the crisis and the acceptance or rejection of terrorism issue by other parties will not dissuade the delegation from continuing to raise this key issue for the Syrian people, who have been suffering terrorism for nine years, considering this issue as one of confidence-building factors.

“ How to preserve the sovereignty under the coercive measures, presence of the Turkish occupation, and presence of an occupation that loots the resources of our country,” he wondered, stressing that there is a basis that must be agreed upon which is the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic and the independence of its decision, not only as a line or article in the constitution, but it must be translated into a reality agreed upon by all parties.

Al-Kuzbari asserted the need for all members of the committee to realize that we did not come to Geneva to build a new state because the Syrian Arab Republic is an existing state and has its constitution, parliament, government, army, and institutions. “ We came here for constitutional reform and this reform may be by amending some articles of the current constitution which will remain in force until the last moment in which the Syrian people decide to draft a new constitution.”

“ We are open to the drafting of a new constitution, so long as it achieves all the objectives of the Syrian state and remains committed to the national constants, and most importantly, to obtain the approval of the Syrian people.” He said.

Al-Kuzbari concluded by saying that the delegation, supported by the Syrian Government, is a legal and technical delegation and not a political one.

The restoration of Syrian sovereignty over Kurdish-controlled territory is the only way to stop a new large-scale bloodshed in the region

At the beginning of October United States gave Turkey a green light to invade northern Syria. This is the scenario that Kurds have long feared. The Turkish military operation Peace Spring in Syria has led to disastrous consequences for the local population.

Syria researcher for Human Rights Watch Sara Kayyali said that Turkish incursion into northeastern Syria will result in “massive displacement” and subsequent “strain on a humanitarian response that is already at its limit.”

However civilians fleeing the advancing Turkish forces have few options. Displacement centers in northeastern Syria are already at breaking point, prompting fears that under-fire SDF troops won’t even be able to secure the prisons holding ISIS militants.

Currently the Kurds have no allies, they are in a trap. The only way for refugees is that they should go back to government-controlled territory. The only option for SDF is to deal with Syrian government. The SAA has all rights and opportunities to stop the Turkish invasion. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said that Damascus ultimate goal was to restore state authority over Kurdish controlled areas in northeast Syria.

It becomes obvious that in the current situation only the Syrian government is able to guarantee security of the Kurdish people and ensure stability in the region.

Mini-Committee of Discussing Constitution continues activities for second day

The Mini-Committee of the expanded body of the Committee of Discussing the Constitution continued its meetings at the UN headquarters in Geneva with the participation of the Syrian Government-backed delegation and other delegations.

The Committee today will hold two morning and evening sessions, and will take a break between them, indicating that the sessions of the committee will be closed.

On Monday, the Mini-Committee held a meeting as sources close to the UN announced that the agenda of the current round of the activities of the committee which was proposed by the Syrian Government-backed delegation was approved.