UN holds talks on new Syrian constitution with rebel-backers amid Idlib offensive

UN holds talks on new Syrian constitution with rebel-backers amid Idlib offensive

The UN’s Syria envoy, Staffan de Mistura, will sponsor talks in Geneva today to discuss a new constitution in the

FILE PHOTO:A general view taken with a drone shows the Clock Tower of the rebel-held Idlib city

Photo: Reuters/Ammar Abdullah

The UN’s Syria envoy, Staffan de Mistura, will sponsor talks in Geneva today to discuss a new constitution in the war-torn country. Representatives from the US, Britain, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt will be present.

This meeting comes as the civil war may be reaching its final, violent leg in the northwestern province of Idlib—the last rebel-controlled region of the country. With Russian military support, Assad’s forces have continued a bombing campaign in Idlib that has heightened border security and refugee inflow concerns for Turkey and European states

Given that the tides of the war are flowing heavily in favour of the president, UN talks on a new constitution might have to cater to the concerns of Assad more than the United States and its allies would like. Such interests would include a power structure allowing Assad to stay in control through internationally legitimised means. The UN will eventually have to direct its attention to post-war reparation in competition with the Russian-led Astana peace process.

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