The commission probing into rumored air strikes in Syria’s Idlib must take into account the evidence Russia has provided concerning the real condition of the humanitarian facilities, Russia’s permanent representative at the United Nations, Vasily Nebenzya, told TASS in an interview ahead of the UN General Assembly’s High-Level Week.
"First and foremost the commission is to find out how the United Nations participates in the deconflicting mechanism," he said about UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s decision to set up a commission to investigate suspected air attacks against civilian infrastructures in Idlib.
"It has turned out that many of the reports behind the charges against Russia and Syria are fake," Nebenzya said. "Moscow often receives inaccurate information from the United Nations about the facilities featuring on the deconflicting list and the allegedly affected facilities. Eventually it turns out that all of these facilities are safe and sound and remain intact."
"Now we regularly get such information [from the Russian Defense Ministry about the inauthenticity of UN data — TASS] and we will find a way of letting it known to the United Nations and the organizations we cooperate with directly within the framework of the deconflicting mechanism," Nebenzya said. "May they forward this evidence to the investigation commission, which will surely have to take it into account in its conclusions."
Ten UN Security Council member-states (Belgium, Britain, Germany, the Dominican Republic, Indonesia, Kuwait, Peru, Poland, the United States and France) asked the UN Secretary-General to launch the probe. The commission gets down to work on September 30.
Syria Constitutional Committee
Russia expects that the United Nations will declare the launch of the Syrian Constitutional Committee this week, Russian Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya told TASS.
"I sincerely hope that this decision will be announced before the end of Russia’s presidency [in the UN Security Council in late September]," Nebenzya said. On September 30, the UN Security Council is scheduled to discuss the situation in Syria and UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen will hold a briefing. "I hope this will be a briefing where he will declare the committee’s creation."
"I know that we are very close," Nebenzya said. "At the summit in Ankara the ‘Astana trio’ approved the constitutional committee’s makeup, which had been a stumbling block for a very long time. Just a few finishing touches are left to finally agree on all details."
On January 30, 2018, participants in the Syrian National Dialogue Congress, held in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, decided to establish a constitutional committee that would work on the country’s new constitution.
The 150-member committee is supposed to include representatives of the Syrian government and opposition, as well as civil society members. Each group will appoint 15 experts to hold closed door consultations in Geneva.