Iran, Russia and Turkey pledged to maintain cooperation in Syria to decisively defeat and destroy Daesh and other terrorists, while condemning Israel’s military attacks on the Arab country as a violation of international law.
The trio made the remarks in a joint statement following the 16th round of the Astana taks in the Kazakh capital, Nur-Sultan, on Thursday, IRNA reported.
They also stressed the necessity of the full implementation of the agreements and preservation of stability in Syria’s Idlib.
The three powers noted that they are determinedly opposed to separatists’ plans in Syria, which are aimed at weakening the Arab country’s unity and compromising the neighboring states’ security.
The statement added Iran, Russia and Turkey are against the illegal confiscation of Syria’s oil and transfer of the revenues generated through the sales of the Arab states’ crude.
In addition, the sides agreed that ensuring long-term security and stability in northeastern Syria is only possible through preserving the country’s government and retaining its territorial integrity.
Tehran, Moscow and Ankara emphasized in the statement that they carefully monitor and assess the situation of the de-escalation zone in Idlib and the importance of maintaining peace in the country through the full implementation of the previously signed agreements about the city.
They also expressed concern over the increased presence and activities of Tahrir al-Sham terror group and other terrorist organizations affiliated to it in Syria that threaten civilians in the country.
The 16th round of talks on Syria started in Kazakhstan’s capital Nur-Sultan on Wednesday with the participation of Iran, Russia, and Turkey – the three guarantor states in the Syrian peace process – as well as representatives from the Syrian government and opposition groups besides the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen, according to Press TV.
The Turkish delegation was represented by its Foreign Ministry director general responsible for Syria, Ambassador Selçuk Ünal. The Russian delegation was led by the country's special envoy to Syria, Alexander Lavrentiev, and Iran by Ali Asghar Khaji, a senior adviser to the Iranian foreign minister on special political affairs.
On the first day of the meeting, Khaji, held talks with representatives of Syria, Russia and Turkey as well as the UN envoy.
The participants discussed a range of topics, including efforts to promote political stability in Syria, the recent presidential election in the country, holding the sixth session of the Syrian Constitutional Committee in Geneva, issues pertaining to border crossings and the US sanctions against Damascus.
The Iranian delegation outlined the country’s stance on the need to fight terrorism, dispatch humanitarian aid to Syria and secure a removal of the US sanctions.
The meeting also focused on the situation on the ground in Syria, socioeconomic and sanitary-epidemiological issues, international humanitarian assistance to Syria and confidence-building measures including prisoner exchanges, the release of hostages and the search for missing persons.
Praising the role being played by Iran, Russia and Turkey in efforts to resolve the Syria crisis in a Wednesday tweet, UN envoy Pedersen said he counts on the trio’s continued support for the world body’s political process to achieve that goal.
Since January 2017, Tehran, Moscow and Ankara have been mediating peace negotiations between representatives of the Syrian government and opposition groups in a series of talks held in the Kazakh capital Astana (now named Nur-Sultan) and other places, including Sochi.
The talks are collectively referred to as the Astana peace process.
The first round of the Astana talks commenced a month after the three states joined efforts and brought about the countrywide cease-fire in Syria and assumed the role of the truce’s guarantors.
The negotiations have helped significantly reduce the violence gripping the Arab country by establishing de-escalation zones there, and also enabling the formation of the Constitutional Committee that is tasked with devising a new Constitution for the Arab nation.
Over the past years, the US has been maintaining an illegal military presence on Syrian soil, collaborating with anti-Damascus terrorists and stealing the country’s crude oil resources.
It has also slapped rounds of crippling sanctions on Syria, which has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011.
Parts of the restrictive measures have been imposed under the so-called Caesar Act, an American piece of legislation that alleges to support the Syrian people by protecting them against the Syrian administration’s way of governance.
The bans target almost all Syrian economic and trade activities, as well as the country’s government officials.