TUNIS, TUNISIA – JANUARY 26, 2019: Russia’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Special Representative of the President of Russia for the Middle East andAfrica, Mikhail Bogdanov (front) before a joint press conference by the ministers of foreign affairs of Russia and Tunisia. Alexander Shcherbak/TASS

Russia expects that the formation of the Syrian constitutional committee will be sped up after the visit of UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen to Damascus, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov told reporters on Wednesday.

“Here [in Moscow] we have held very useful consultations, UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen has cleared up a lot of things for himself,” Bogdanov said in response to a question about Pedersen’s visit to Damascus.

According to Bodganov, the UN envoy has left for Damascus with a certain understanding “of specific issues,” and now, Moscow is expecting the outcomes of his talks with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem.

In response to a question about whether the Syrian constitutional committee will be formed soon, Bodganov replied: “We hope so.” “Currently, there is real, specific progress on the formation of the constitutional committee and the definition of the areas it will be dealing with,” he explained.

 
Earlier, Pedersen stated that the Syrian constitutional committee may be formed in the summer of 2019. The decision to set up the Constitutional Committee was made at the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi on January 30, 2018. The committee is expected to include delegates from the Syrian government, opposition and civil society.

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