Astana: Syrian opposition rejects Russian ’draft constitution’

Orient Net 2017-01-25 11:05:00

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Opposition fighters’ delegation in the Kazakh capital, Astana, refused Wednesday to be handed a proposed constitution draft for Syria written by Russia, sources in the delegation told Orient News.

The member in opposition’s delegation Saeed Naqrash, Commander of Shuhada al-Islam Brigade, negated that the delegation accepted to be handed any copy of a Russian-drafted constitution for Syria, categorically rejecting to deal with any political issues before the ceasefire is consolidated.

Astana talks were held only to deal with military-related issues, and the delegation informed the Russian side that any political issues and the future of Syria will be discussed only with the High Negotiations Committee (HNC), Naqrash added.

For his part, Jaysh al-Ezza’s representative in the opposition’s delegation, Captain Mostafa Ma’arati, told Orient News that opposition refused to be handed Russia’s copy of the proposed constitution.

Cpat. Ma’arati accused Russia of equivocation because opposition said many times that Astana talks are held to discuss enforcing the ceasefire across Syria, in addition to the release of the detainees in Assad regime’s detention centers.

Political issues are left to the HNC to deal with, Capt. Ma’arati echoed his comrade in Shuhada al-Islam Brigade.

Russia claimed that it handed opposition’s delegation in Astana a constitution draft prepared by “Russian experts”.

“We have handed the Syrian armed opposition a draft constitution of Syria prepared by Russian specialists for them to study,” Russia’s envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentiev said.

Astana featured a brief face-to-face meeting between the opposition and Assad regime - their first since the Syrian war began in 2011.