DAMASCUS:     -      Geir Pedersen, UN special envoy for Syria, said here Monday that he has concluded “very successful” discussions with Syria’s Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem on the formation of a constitutional committee.

Pedersen, who arrived in Syria’s capital of Damascus a day earlier, said his Monday’s meeting with al-Moallem tackled old standing issues regarding the formation of a constitutional committee that would be tasked with rewriting the Syrian constitution.

“I have concluded another round of very successful discussion with Foreign Minister (Walid) al-Moallem. We addressed all the old standing issues related to the constitutional committee,” he told reporters.

The envoy also said that he had concluded similarly successful talks with the head of the oppositional Syrian Negotiation Commission (SNC) Nasr al-Hariri, who is based in Turkey.

Pedersen’s next step is to brief the Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres about the outcome of his discussions, and then he will be heading for New York to attend a UN session on Sept. 30.

On Sept. 18, Guterres said that all relevant parties in Syria have agreed on the composition of a committee tasked to rewrite the country’s constitution, and Pedersen is doing “the final work” with the parties in relation to the terms of reference. Under an intra-Syrian agreement reached in Sochi, Russia in January 2018, the constitutional committee is to be composed of representatives of the Syrian government, the opposition and civil society representatives, each with 50 members.