Russia, Turkey and Iran have agreed at their fifth Syria summit on the occupation of the long-planned constitutional committee. A list of 150 members has already been created, reported the Russian state television. They should debate the new constitution for Syria. The committee should start its work as soon as possible, said Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that one could "immediately" start setting up a constitutional committee. But it was "not right" to call a date. Erdogan's Iranian colleague Hassan Rohani said he hopes that the debate on the new constitution can start soon: "This is a lengthy process, as the interests of all Syrians must be realized."
The committee drafting a constitution had already been agreed in 2018. The discussions about education had lasted for a long time. Above all, the composition of the panel is controversial. Who the members are is not known yet.
No agreement on how to proceed in Idlib
One of the main topics of the Syria summit was, besides the establishment of the constitutional committee, the situation in the last large rebel area Idlib. Putin, Erdogan and Rohani could not agree on a common approach. It remains unclear how a new refugee crisis could be prevented if the troops of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad continue their offensive in Idlib.
Erdogan suggested building a "refugee city" on the border of the Turkish-Syrian border. He said that Turkey would not allow a "terrorist corridor" to be created on the border with Syria. If, on the other hand, a "corridor of peace" emerges at the border, more than two million Syrians could return to their country.
Russia continues to support Syrian army
Putin also advocated that the refugees return to their homeland. But he emphasized that the most urgent task was to continue the fight against terrorist groups. The Russian army would support the Syrian army where necessary.
Turkey supports various rebel groups in Syria. Russia and Iran, on the other hand, are on the side of the Syrian president. In the so-called Astana process, the three states have been negotiating a solution in the civil war country since 2017 - so far with little success. Putin nevertheless called this format the "most effective instrument" to solve the conflict in Syria. The sixth Syria summit will take place in Tehran.