Syrian gov’t, opposition fail to talk during week-long meeting


No direct dialogue took place between Syria’s warring sides during a five-day meeting that ended on Friday in Geneva, UN mediator Geir Pedersen said.
The negotiations between the Syrian government, opposition and civil society on drafting a new constitution are meant to build momentum towards a political solution to the civil war that has lasted nearly nine years.
The talks did not go ahead because the government and opposition representatives who chair the talks failed to find consensus on an agenda.
“We are not there yet,” Pedersen told reporters, adding that there was also no decision yet on when to convene a new session.
The Norwegian who serves as UN Syria envoy, met every day with the separate delegations this week.
He described these talks as “good, serious and professional.”
The so-called Syrian Constitution Committee was launched in October in Geneva with 150 delegates representing the government, opposition and civil society in equal parts.
This week’s second round was limited to a smaller drafting committee consisting of 15 delegates of each side.