Syria discussing previously rejected constitution with Russia, says president Assad

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

Anything is up for discussion, including a new constitution for Syria, President Bashar al-Assad said in an interview with Russian journalists on Monday.

“We are ready to discuss anything including the constitution, but we need to see who’s going to be in Geneva, are they going to discuss the same paper or not?” the president said. “But for us, as a government, our position is very clear: that we are ready to discuss it in details, but we support the headline, of course.”

Both Syria and the opposition groups had previously rejected a Russian proposal for a new constitution which would have changed the Syrian Arab Republic into a Syrian Democratic Republic removing emphasis on a particular ethnicity and in which autonomy would be granted for the Kurds in the north.

“Yesterday, I think, our representative in the United Nations, Mr. Jaafari, announced that we support the Russian initiatives – different initiatives, not only this one – as headlines, and now we are discussing with the Russians the details”, he said.

The Syrian President expressed a desire to know who will attend not only Geneva but also the Astana talks in order to reach concrete achievements.

“The problem is that we went to Astana recently, as you know, the other delegation, the delegation of the militants, didn’t join that meeting, they didn’t go to Astana, and we all believe that this is the negative influence of the Turks. So, how can we start something concrete if you don’t have a partner?”