Turkey has welcomed a decision for the formation of a constitutional committee by the Syrian National Dialogue Congress held in the Russian city of Sochi on Jan. 30, vowing to continue to contribute for peace and stability in its southern neighbor.
“Turkey will continue to support, on all platforms, efforts for a political solution that will bring a real political change to Syria in accordance with U.N. Security Council Resolution 2254. Turkey expects all actors that have leverage over the Syrian regime and on the ground to fulfill their responsibilities in directing the conflicting parties in Syria to negotiate a credible political solution,” read a written statement issued by the Foreign Ministry late Jan. 30.
The most important outcome of the Sochi meeting was the call for the establishment of the constitutional committee and the selection of a pool of 150 candidates for this committee, underlined the statement, recalling the Turkish delegation submitted a list of 50 candidates in consultation with the opposition.
“In the next stage, the U.N. Special Envoy is expected to establish a Constitutional Committee which will look out for the proportional representation of the opposition in line with the Geneva Process conducted up until today in accordance with U.N. Security Council Resolution 2254. While forming this Committee, the U.N. Special Envoy on Syria will be able to appoint names from the list of 150 candidates or outside the list. The establishment process of the Constitutional Committee will be closely monitored by Turkey as the guarantor of the opposition,” it added.
The Turkish statement also recalled that the High Negotiations Committee and the Syrian National Coalition decided not to participate in the congress due to recent ceasefire violations on the ground as well as unresolved concerns and uncertainties with regard to the congress.
“On the other hand, a delegation composed of some opposition members who travelled from Ankara to Sochi to attend the Congress did refuse to enter the country in reaction to the posters and logos that were put up at the Congress Center and the Airport, showing images of regime flags,” it stressed, recalling that the group was represented by Turkey at the congress.
Turkish, Russian presidents speak afterwards
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan spoke with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on the phone on the morning of Jan. 31 to discuss the outcome of the Syrian National Congress, which was held in Sochi the day before.
State-run Anadolu Agency reported that “despite the problems that arose at the summit,” the two leaders agreed that a “notable outcome” was reached in the end.