The U.N. special envoy for Syria says he is “optimistic” an agreement can be reached on the long-sought formation of a committee to draft a new constitution for the war-torn country so it can meet this summer.

Geir Pederson told reporters Tuesday after briefing the Security Council that he bases his optimism on the “intensive” and “very good” dialogue he has had with Syria’s government and opposition. He says there has been “tangible progress,” including on the committee’s rules of procedure and composition.

He told the council he believes an agreement can be reached with “goodwill” and “just a little” compromise.

United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen, center, greets a reporter following a U.N. Security Council meeting on Syria at U.N. headquarters, Tuesday, April 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen, center, greets a reporter following a U.N. Security Council meeting on Syria at U.N. headquarters, Tuesday, April 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Pedersen says convening the committee could “help unlock a broader political process” toward holding U.N.-supervised elections and ending the eight-year Syrian war.

United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen gestures as he speaks to the media following a United Nations Security Council meeting on Syria at U.N. headquarters, Tuesday, April 30, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen gestures as he speaks to the media following a United Nations Security Council meeting on Syria at U.N. headquarters, Tuesday, April 30, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

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