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Syria to UN envoy: Constitution is a ‘sovereign’ matter

Syrians hold placards and a giant Syrian revolutionary flag as they chant slogans against the Syrian government during a sit-in marking the eighth anniversary of the Syrian civil war, in Martyrs' Square in downtown Beirut, Lebanon, Sunday, March 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syria’s foreign minister said on Sunday that the country’s constitution is a sovereign matter to be decided by the Syrians themselves without any foreign intervention.

The comments by Walid al-Moallem were made during a meeting with the United Nations’ special envoy to Syria, Geir Pederson.

Pederson, who took up his post in January, arrived in Syria for meetings with Syrian officials. The envoy has said that the long-delayed formation of a committee to draft a new constitution for Syria is “a potential door-opener for the political process.”

The 150-member committee is intended to represent the government, the opposition and civil society and is seen by the U.N. as key to holding free elections and ending the civil war in Syria, which entered its ninth year this week.

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