A Russian document circulating at the United Nations calls for launching a constitutional reform process in Syria followed by an early presidential election, the AP reported Tuesday. The eight-point proposal, which suggests drafting a new constitution over an 18-month period, does not mention whether or not Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would remain in power during the process. However, the document does note that Assad would not chair the constitutional commission and UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura would launch a political process between the Syrian government and a “united delegation of opposition groups” on the basis of the June 2012 agreement between major powers in Geneva. The leaked document comes ahead of Saturday’s second round of talks in Vienna among 20 countries and international groups aiming to reach a ceasefire in the Syria.
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