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Reports: Syria Opposition Rejects Russian Draft Of New Constitution

Yahya al-Aridi, a member of the opposition delegation to the Astana talks

Syria’s opposition has rejected a Russian proposal on a new constitution for the country, reports say.

Moscow says the draft, presented during a meeting with Syrian rebels at peace talks this week in Kazakhstan, was based on ideas from the Syrian government, opposition, and regional powers.

But Bloomberg quoted Yahya al-Aridi, a member of the opposition delegation to the Astana talks, as saying on January 25, "We told them that the Syrians are the ones who are entitled to write the constitution."

"The Russians put the draft on the table and we didn't even pick it up," an unidentified source from the rebel delegation earlier told AFP. "We told them we refuse to discuss this."

At the end of the Astana negotiations on January 24, Russia, Iran, and Turkey said they would jointly enforce a fragile three-week cessation of hostilities in Syria.

Moscow and Tehran back President Bashar al-Assad’s government in the six-year civil war, while Ankara supports the opposition.

Moscow has announced that Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov would hold talks with Syrian opposition representatives in Moscow on January 27, but it was unclear who would attend.

Based on reporting by Bloomberg and AFP