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UN urges Syrian Constitutional Committee to return to work after 10-month lapse

The UN’s special envoy for Syria urged the committee tasked with forming a new constitution for Syria to resume its duties following a nearly year-long hiatus.

Addressing the Security Council, Geir Pedersen said he is “concerned” by the 10-month lapse, which he said, “sends a troubling message: that Syrians’ ability to search for a comprehensive solution is held hostage to issues unrelated to their country.”

“The committee must resume its work in Geneva in a spirit of compromise, substance and at pace,” he said. “The situation today is so unprecedented that it calls for leadership, bold ideas and a cooperative spirit. A political solution is the only way forward for Syria. We may not be able to reach that in one step – but I believe we can progress towards it gradually.”

Turning to ongoing efforts to remedy devastation brought by devastating earthquakes in neighboring Syria, Pedersen said it is “absolutely vital” to get direly-needed resources to northwest Syria to address “the immense suffering arising from the conflict.”

A “sustained calm” is also needed, particularly in earthquake-afflicted regions, Pedersen said, noting “a creeping rise in incidents,” including rocket fire and shelling and “crossline raids.”

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