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UN Envoy To Host Meeting On Drafting New Syrian Constitution

Staffan de Mistura

The United Nations peace envoy for Syria is planning to host officials from the United States and six other countries next month for talks on drafting a new Syrian constitution.

UN spokeswoman Alessandra Vellucci said on August 28 that Staffan de Mistura will convene a meeting in Geneva on September 14 with senior representatives from Britain, Egypt, France, Germany, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the United States.

The discussions will focus on "the way ahead on the political process" for Syria, "including the UN effort to facilitate the establishment of a constitutional committee," Vellucci said.

De Mistura is also set to meet officials from Russia, Turkey, and Iran on September 11-12 for previously announced talks on war-ravaged Syria.

The UN envoy has been tasked with forming a committee to draw up the new Syrian constitution, after receiving nominations from the Syrian government and the opposition.

His previous efforts to negotiate an end to the Syrian conflict have achieved no breakthroughs.

The United States will join the negotiations, represented by James Jeffrey, the newly minted special representative for Syria, and Joel Rayburn, the administration's special envoy for Syria, a State Department official was quoted by Reuters as saying.

The seven-year war has killed hundreds of thousands of people and uprooted millions since it began with a government crackdown on protesters in March 2011.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters