Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (R, Front) speaks with Russian president's Special Envoy to Syria Alexander Lavrentiev (L, Front) in Damascus, Syria, on Sept. 15, 2019. Bashar al-Assad on Sunday received Alexander Lavrentiev and discussed with him the tripartite summit that will take place Monday in Ankara, according to the Syrian presidential media office. (Syrian Presidency/Handout via Xinhua)
DAMASCUS, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Sunday received Russian president's Special Envoy to Syria Alexander Lavrentiev and discussed with him the tripartite summit that will take place Monday in Ankara, according to the Syrian presidential media office.
Lavrentiev informed Assad about the work schedule of the tripartite summit that will take place among Turkey, Russia, and Iran.
The discussion also touched upon the Russian efforts to surpass obstacles placed by "some countries in the region and abroad that aim to prolong the Syrian war."
The Russian official also underscored his country's willingness to continue working with Damascus on countering terrorism and liberating all Syrian areas.
Earlier in the day, the pro-government al-Watan newspaper said that the formation of a Syrian constitutional committee is still under deliberation as the UN Special Envoy to Syria Geir Pedersen awaits the decision of the Syrian government and guarantor states.
Citing Western diplomatic sources, the newspaper said that information suggests that Pedersen is still unable to declare the formation of a constitutional committee, which will be tasked with revising and amending the Syrian constitution, as he awaits the deliberations between the Syrian government and Russia as well as the consensus between the guarantor states.
"Some details are still under discussion and should be getting done with and such details require the consent of the Syrian government and the consultations between the guarantor states," the unnamed Western source was cited by the al-Watan as saying.
The newspaper said that Lavrentiev arrived in the capital Damascus to hold talks with the Syrian leadership ahead of the tripartite summit in Ankara.
Al-Watan said that the tripartite summit will discuss the situation in Syria's Idlib province, the last major rebel stronghold in Syria, as well as the formation of the constitutional committee among other issues such as the situation in the Kurdish-controlled areas in eastern Syria.
The decision to set up a constitutional committee was agreed on at the Syrian National Dialogue Congress, held in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi on Jan. 30, 2018.
The launch of a Syrian constitutional committee has become the centerpiece of UN peace efforts in the country, intending to hold elections to end the eight-year devastating war.
The Syrian government has been reluctant to allow any foreign interference in the constitution, saying this is a sovereign matter.