The former Syrian ambassador to the United Kingdom said he has a proposal for how the country could form a stable government after the war ends.
While the country remains at war, some are already trying to figure out what an effective, inclusive and lasting government in Syria would look like. Many more moderate Syrians have said they felt left behind in the peace process and have argued that only extremists have had a place at the negotiating table.
But a political roadmap proposed by Sami Khiyami, the former Syrian ambassador to Britain, aims to address those issues.
"We wish to have a parliament composed of the best people in this country, distinguished in their career, active and efficient in their work, dignified in their management, generous in their kindness, esteemed among their entourage and patriotic in their aspirations," he told Fox News.
That can only be achieved, Khiyami said, if it’s a layered process overseen only initially by foreigners – with a push from the United Nations and a UN-sponsored commission.
The UN would nominate 1,000 people who would select a 50-person council, a so-called "Council of the Wise." That council, he said, that would then choose 200 people for a Constituent Assembly. This final group would put in place then a blueprint for free and fair elections for Parliament.
In the period before those elections happen, the Constituent Assembly would designate a Supreme Judicial Council and form a Constitutional High Court.
"In this proposal, we hope to achieve nomination (with legitimation) of the best available persons to represent the nation,” he said. “By 'best,' we do not mean the richest or the most prominent. We merely intend to look for the most competent, the most respected and the non-corrupt.”
The original 1,000, chosen by the UN commission, should include delegates from all regions of Syria who are intellectual, reputable and have experience in social and humanitarian work.
The conclusion to this multi-layered process, again, he said, is that it removes the Constituent Assembly and, ultimately, the Parliament from foreign influence because it sets in place a mechanism for Syrians themselves to choose those most qualified to run their country.
“The nomination, followed by the legitimation, through a national referendum, of a Constituent Assembly, will enable the majority of Syrians to design themselves their future, away from pretentious usurpers who claim to represent the people under the labels regime, opposition, and various regional and international parties,” Khiyami said.
Amy Kellogg currently serves as a Senior Foreign Affairs Correspondent based in Milan, Italy. She joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in 1999 as a Moscow-based correspondent. Follow her on Twitter: @amykelloggfox