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As Syria constitution talks kick off, is Kurdish administration 'finished'?

As representatives from Syria's government, opposition and civil society meet in Geneva to draft a new constitution for the war-torn country, Al-Monitor spoke with French academic Fabrice Balanche on prospects for the talks.
U.N. Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen talks with Ahmad Kuzbari, co-chair for the Syrian Government, and other members ot their delegation after the first meeting of the new Syrian Constitutional Committee at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, October 30, 2019. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse - RC145F453450

Some 150 delegates representing Syria’s government, opposition and various civil society groups convened in Geneva today to draft a new constitution for their country after more than eight years of devastating civil conflict. The UN, which is overseeing the talks at the Palais de Nations, insists that they will be “Syrian owned and Syrian led,” yet it's an open secret that Russia, Iran and Turkey hold most of the cards.

UN Syria envoy Geir Pedersen in his opening remarks stressed that the talks needed to uphold the spirit of UN Security Council Resolution 2254, which calls for a political transition process that would establish “credible, inclusive and non-sectarian governance” together with a new constitution and free and fair elections. The resolution was adopted nearly five years ago, and there has been virtually no progress recorded in achieving any of its goals. 

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