According to diplomats familiar with the situation, US and Russian officials have begun the process of writing the new constitution for Syria, with officials saying they want the framework in place by August.
The plan has always been for the Syrian civil war to be resolved by a new constitution leading to elections, but the absence of any Syrian involvement in the penning of the new document is conspicuous, underscoring how much of the effort is still just the international community imposing a “solution” on Syria.
Not that it necessarily makes the process any easier, as the US is continuing to take the position that the constitution needs to restrict certain Syrian officials, including President Assad, from ever participating in elections again.
Russia, by contrast, has insisted that the free elections in Syria should be open to all, and that the future government of Syria should be up to Syrians. This support for Syrian self-determination doesn’t appear to extent to writing their own constitution.
The US is also pushing hard for a heavily centralized state dominated by a handful of leaders, while Russia has been more supportive of a federal Syria, with considerable autonomy for several regions, particularly Syrian Kurdistan.
* * *