U.N. Syria Envoy Pedersen: Impossible to hold meeting of Syrian Constitution Committee in October

NEW YORK — During a video conference held by the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday, U.N. Special Envoy to Syria Geir Pedersen acknowledged that it was impossible to hold an October meeting in Geneva for the Syrian Constitutional Committee charged with reviewing the constitution as scheduled since an agenda had not been agreed upon.

“We have not yet reached a final agreement, but the plan is to hold new talks in November in Geneva,” Pedersen said, referring to his recent visit to Damascus.

During the debate, U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative to the U.N. Richard Mills said the lack of progress in discussions on constitutional reform was “unacceptable” and added that, “it’s time to tell the Assad regime enough.”

French Permanent Representative to the U.N. Nicolas de Rivière said the political process had reached an impasse, and the result of the Constitutional Committee’s work was almost non-existent. Rivière accused Damascus of using the Committee to simply buy itself time.

The Russian representative, Vassily Nebenzia, stated that the political process belongs to the Syrians themselves, and continued, “It is important to give the Syrians the opportunity to negotiate without outside interference.”