UN envoy: Constitutional committee is first step to peace


UNITED NATIONS (AP) – The U.N. envoy for Syria says the agreement to establish a committee to draft Syria’s new constitution is “a door opener” to a new future for the conflict-wracked country.

Geir Pedersen said that before that can happen, “We must build up what is still almost totally lacking in Syria – and that is a sense of trust and confidence between Syrians, and between Syria and the outside world.”

He told a meeting on the sidelines of the annual gathering of world leaders at the General Assembly on Tuesday that it’s essential “to work together to identify how to move together along a better path.”

Pedersen spoke a day after Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced an agreement between the Syrian government and opposition on a U.N.-facilitated constitutional committee.