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Clash Symptoms Between Russia and US Plans on Syria

LONDON – A High-level meeting which aims at discussing the Syrian crisis are expected this week, among signs of a possible clash between two separate Russian and US plans for a political solution in the country, ASHARQ Al ASWAT reported Thursday.
According to “ASHARQ AL ASWAT” website, Moscow’s primal focus is refugees and reconstruction, while Washington seeks to benefit from the US military presence in eastern Syria to push for a “political transition.”
To promote a political settlement for the Syrian crisis based on United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254, the Head of Syria’s opposition Negotiation Commission (SNC) Nasr al-Hariri is expected to hold talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow.
On the other hand, UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura will brief the Council on Friday on the outcome of his visit to Damascus, where he met with Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem to discuss matters concerning the war-torn country’s constitution.
SANA news quoted Muallem saying the UN envoy that “the constitution and everything related to it are purely a sovereign affair that is decided by the Syrian people without any foreign intervention.”
Last month, representatives of Iran, Russia and Turkey met the UN envoy and “agreed in principal” on the two lists of candidates for Syria’s constitutional body.
However, they did not approve a third list to be placed by de Mistura and which includes civil society representatives, religious and tribal leaders, experts and women.
Damascus informed de Mistura on Wednesday that Syria should get the two third majority of the committee, in addition to its presidency, also placing conditions on the voting process in the committee that includes 45 to 50 names.
Adopting the “Damascus choice” means the constitutional reforms would be achieved in a committee linked to the Syrian Parliament, Western diplomats said
However, de Mistura’s briefing to the Security Council is an important step to set his choices during his mission’s last month.
On the other hand, the envoy would either push for a UN-sponsored constitutional committee, or leave the choice for Damascus to later be held responsible for any failure of the Geneva process.
Moreover, both Russia and the US are trying to channel support for their plans in Syria.
In the presence of Hariri, a meeting of the so-called Small Group, which includes the US, Britain, France, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt will be held in London next Monday.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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