Syria's ambassador to the UN says his government will not recognize any constitutional reform body formed outside the framework of a Russian-led peace initiative for his country.
Bashar Jaafari's remarks to the UN Security Council on Wednesday appeared to rebuff efforts by UN Envoy Staffan De Mistura to facilitate and mediate constitutional reform for Syria, one of the guiding principles of a 2015 Security Council roadmap for peace for Syria.
Jaafari's remarks echoed an earlier statement by Assistant Foreign Minister Ayman Sousan who said de Mistura had no authority to select delegates to a constitutional committee for Syria.
Assistant Foreign Minister Ayman Sousan said Tuesday that only participants in a Russian-led "Syrian Congress of National Dialogue" convened in Sochi last month could be delegates on a constitutional committee. Several members of the Syrian opposition refused to attend the Sochi conference.
De Mistura has said the Sochi congress delivered a mandate to allow him to convene a constitutional committee with members from the broader Syrian opposition.