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Wednesday, February 1

Moscow putting the cart before the horse with its draft Syrian consitution

“It’s completely unacceptable for a group of people to decide to create a statelet and call it federalism.”

Today AMN reportedSyria rejects Russia’s suggestions on autonomous communities in Syria, including Kurds and included common-sense observations from Syria's representative to the United Nations, Bashar Jaafari, including the above quote, about points in Moscow's draft constitution that are frankly daft.

(My personal favorite daft point is that in a dispute between international law and Syrian law, the Syrian government would cede to international law. Ahem. Just last year Moscow withdrew Russia from the International Criminal Court in response to the International Community's noises about human rights abuses in Russia and discrimination in Crimea.)

Yesterday Sputnik published the complete text of the draft constitution, which the Russian government drew up for presentation to 'opposition' groups in attendance at the Astana meeting January 23-24 and also at a meeting in Moscow on January 27 between the Russian government and members of the Syrian opposition to further review the draft constitution.  (See this January 26 report from Sputnik on the high points of draft.)

Sputnik also reported, somewhat defensively perhaps, that the "Syrian diaspora" in Russia had contributed to "elaborations" in the draft document. 

As to what Syria's government actually thinks of Moscow's efforts to rewrite the Syrian Constitution -- I think they think that whatever helps to peel a few more Syrians away from Terrorist, Inc., it's worth a try. 

But what Syrians really need right now was hilariously underscored in Sputnik's report today, Saudi-Backed Syrian Opposition Schools UN Envoy De Mistura Over 'Intervention.'
  
You read that right. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

And that's the central problem: the unasked-for intervention of foreign governments in Syria. Unless this problem is resolved, Moscow can write draft constitutions up the ying-yang and the UN can hold endless meetings in Switzerland, and nothing is going to change.

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