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Syria, Iran accuse US of hindering political solution to Syrian crisis

Syria, Iran accuse US of hindering political solution to Syrian crisis

Damascus: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and a visiting Iranian official agreed on Monday that the US is placing snags in the political process in Syria, state news agency SANA reported.

The remarks were made during Assad's meeting with visiting Iranian Foreign Minister's Special Assistant for Political Affairs Hossein Jaberi Ansari in the capital Damascus.

They reportedly discussed anti-terror efforts and progress on the political track, mainly the formation of the constitutional committee which will be tasked with studying the Syrian constitution.

Ansari also met with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem over the formation of the committee as well as the mechanism of its function.

The formation of the constitutional committee has become a problematic issue in Syria.

Russian President Vladimir Putin recently said he hopes the committee will start functioning by the end of 2018.

The constitutional committee is expected to include 150 members, equally divided into three groups, one chosen by the government, the second by the opposition and the third by UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura.

In recent remarks, de Mistura said the objection remains, mainly from the government, over the third list that the UN is tasked with to include civil society representatives, religious and tribal leaders, experts and women in the committee.

The formation of the constitutional committee was agreed upon during inter-Syrian talks in Russia's Sochi in January, which was brokered by Russia, Iran, and Turkey.

In his recent remarks, Putin said that it's time to "agree on the third part with the participation of public organisations and representatives of various public bodies."

The work was not easy as each side would be striving to "fill this part with those people they trust," the Russian president noted.

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