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Iran Press TV

'Syria respects political solution, but fight to continue'

Iran Press TV

Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:30AM

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem has held a "positive and constructive" meeting with the United Nations special envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen, in Damascus.

During the meeting on Monday, Muallem reiterated Syria's adherence to the political process, and reaffirmed his country's readiness to continue cooperation with the UN special envoy in order to reach a political solution through intra-Syrian dialogue, official news agency SANA reported.

Syria's top diplomat also stressed that Syria preserves the right to fight terrorism, and stressed that the counter-terrorism operations will go on in parallel with the political process.

According to SANA, the two sides discussed the formation of a constitutional committee that could pave the way for a political solution to the country's eight-year conflict, and mechanisms that would guarantee its effectiveness.

Damascus reiterated that the constitutional committee should be a purely Syrian affair to be decided by the Syrian people alone without any foreign interference.

Writing a new constitution for a post-war Syria is part of a potential political solution to end the eight-year crisis in the Arab country.

To that end, an agreement was made in the Russian town of Sochi last year for the formation of a UN-backed Constitutional Committee composed of 50 members from the incumbent Damascus government, 50 opposition members, and another 50 independent figures chosen by the world body.

SANA reported that the meeting was "positive and constructive," adding the two sides agreed that only the Syrian people have the right to lead the constitutional process.

They also agreed that the Syrians should decide their future without any foreign interference or pressure in order to achieve a progress in the political process and subsequently restore security and stability to all the Syrian areas.

The two sides also stressed the necessity of respecting Syria's sovereignty and its territorial integrity, and affirmed their utter rejection of all forms of terrorism.

For his part, Pedersen hailed the progress made in the political process, stressing his readiness to make all efforts to facilitate the intra-Syrian dialogue.

Earlier this month, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the United States was throwing a wrench in efforts to form a UN-backed constitutional committee in Syria.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The Syrian government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri terrorist groups that are wreaking havoc in the country.

The conflict has largely wound down recently.

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