Exclusive: US Document Calls on Damascus to Boycott Iranian Regime

Exclusive: US Document Calls on Damascus to Boycott Iranian Regime

Friday, 14 September, 2018 - 06:45
Syrian emergency personnel search for victims following an explosion in a rebel-held area of the northwestern city of Idlib on . AFP
London - Ibrahim Hamidi
A US document, seen by Asharq Al-Awsat on Thursday, said Damascus needed to cut its relations with the Iranian regime and its militias and to introduce a series of reforms to its Constitution, as part of a set of preconditions required to reach a solution to the conflict in Syria.

The document said the war-torn country should also “amend the President’s authorities,” and allow more powers to the Prime Minister.

In addition, it should give a greater role for the civil society to introduce reforms to the security apparatuses and follow a decentralized system.

The two-page document also set the principles based on which ally states should refer when negotiating with Russia and the United Nations.

Those principles reflect Washington’s stands expressed after its latest decision to task ambassador Jim Jeffreys and his deputy assistant Joel Rayburn, with the responsibility of handling the Syrian file.

On Thursday, US officials discussed the content of the document with Syrian opposition figures and European officials during a visit to Brussels before heading to Geneva, where they would meet Friday with UN Special envoy Staffan de Mistura.

Sources said Washington established certain preconditions related to the need that Damascus should stop sponsoring terrorism and providing a safe refuge for terrorists.

Those preconditions called on Syria to cut its relations with the Iranian regime and its militias, to stop threatening neighboring countries, and to provide suitable conditions for the voluntary return of refugees with the UN involvement, in addition to chasing and holding accountable war criminals through their trial in a national court or by cooperating with the international community.

The document also set a number of reforms that should be introduced to the Syrian Constitution.

Presidential powers should be amended to achieve a larger balance capable of securing the independence of central authorities and other institutions located across the country, the document said, adding that a Prime Minister with strong powers should head the Cabinet.

It also called on issuing a UN resolution allowing the agency to organize free and fair elections.

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