Iran, Russia, Turkey adopt joint statement on Syria

Baku, December 12, AZERTAC

Iran, Russia and Turkey on Wednesday adopted a joint statement on Syria at the 14th round of Astana talks held in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, according to Xinhua.

"Iran, Russia and Turkey, as guarantor countries of the Astana format, confirmed their continued commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Syria," the statement read.

The three guarantor countries rejected all illegal self-government initiatives under the pretext of combating terrorism, and expressed their determination to resist separatist plans aimed at undermining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria and threatening the national security of neighboring countries, the statement said.

The three countries expressed their concerns over the increasing terrorist activities in the Syrian province of Idlib, adding that they have reviewed in detail the situation in the Idlib de-escalation area and highlighted the necessity of establishing calm on the ground, according to the statement.

The three countries said they would continue cooperation in eliminating terrorist groups in Syria, including the Islamic State, Al-Nusra Front, and other terrorists groups as designated by the United Nations.

The guarantor countries said they would take measures to ensure that the civilians in both the Idlib de-escalation zone and the surrounding area were protected.

The three sides expressed their opposition against the illegal seizure and distribution of income from the sale of oil which belongs to Syria.

Iran, Russia and Turkey called on the international community to facilitate the safe and voluntary return of internally displaced Syrian refugees while discussing initiatives to organize international conferences to achieve the end.

The three sides also confirmed their commitment to continuing efforts for the release of Syrian detainees or abductees.

The statement said the next international meeting on Syria in the "Astana format" will be held in Nur-Sultan in March 2020.

The 14th round of talks on Syria closed here on Wednesday. The two-day event was attended by Iran, Turkey and Russia, as well as representatives of the Syrian government and the opposition. Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and the United Nations also joined as observers.

The process toward a peaceful settlement in Syria, also known as the Astana process, was launched in January 2017 by Russia, Iran and Turkey in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, which has been renamed Nur-Sultan.

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