U.N. Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura attends a news conference at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Sept. 4, 2018.
U.N. Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura attends a news conference at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Sept. 4, 2018.

UNITED NATIONS - The U.N. envoy for Syria is urging Russia and world leaders to overcome the Damascus government’s opposition to forming a committee which will draft a new constitution that is key to ending the country's civil war.

Staffan de Mistura told the Security Council on Friday that he hopes high-level meetings planned in the coming weeks will enable him to announce the establishment of a 150-member committee before he steps down at the end of November.

Syria strongly objects to a 50-member delegation to the committee that de Mistura put together.

De Mistura welcomed an invitation to brief the leaders of Russia, France, Germany and Turkey in Istanbul on Saturday and said he will ask them to “seize the opportunity” of relative calm in rebel-held Idlib to move on the constitution.

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