Russia, Iran, Turkey agree on Syria constitutional body that convenes early next year

The foreign ministers of Russia, Iran and Turkey said on Tuesday that a new Syrian Constitutional Committee should convene early next year, kicking off a political peace process. In a joint statement read out by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov after the three met UN special envoy Staffan de Mistura, they said that the work of the new body “should be governed by a sense of compromise and constructive engagement.” The UN envoy who steps down on December 31, has tried since January to clinch agreement on 150 members of a new constitutional committee. Syria’s government and the opposition have each submitted a list of 50 names. Russia, Iran and Turkey had to name the final 50 members from civil society and “independent” backgrounds. Turkey and other nations would consider working with President Bashar Assad if he won a democratic election, Reuters quoted Cavusoglu as saying on Sunday.