Iran, Russia, Turkey reaffirm commitment to sovereignty, territorial integrity of Syria

2021-02-17 21:36:30 GMT2021-02-18 05:36:30(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

Video PlayerClose

MOSCOW, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) -- "Iran, Russia and Turkey, as guarantor countries of the Astana format, reaffirmed their continued commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic," said a joint statement issued Wednesday following the 15th Astana format talks in Sochi, Russia.

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

All three parties reiterated their determination to fight terrorism and confront all separatist movements aimed at undermining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria and threatening the national security of neighboring countries, the statement said.

The countries condemned all acts of terrorism in the region that lead to casualties among civilians and expressed concern over increased terrorist activity in Idlib, adding that they plan to continue cooperation in order to eliminate terrorist groups associated with the Islamic State, al-Qaida, and other United Nations (UN) designated terrorist entities.

The three countries rejected illegal self-government initiatives implemented under the pretext of combating terrorism and voiced opposition to the illegal seizure and distribution of income from the sale of oil belonging to Syria.

They condemned the ongoing Israeli military attacks in Syria and called for an end to all hostilities, stressing that they violate international and humanitarian law and "undermine the sovereignty of Syria and neighboring countries."

Iran, Russia and Turkey emphasized their commitment to advance a Syrian-led political process under the assistance of the UN.

The three countries expressed serious concern over the current humanitarian situation in Syria that has been aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic and rejected all unilateral sanctions that violate international law and the UN Charter.

The parties called on the international community to expand humanitarian response efforts by ensuring the vaccination of the Syrian population, implementing projects aimed at restoring basic infrastructure, providing assistance with humanitarian demining and facilitating the safe and voluntary return of internally displaced Syrian refugees.

The countries will further consolidate cooperation on the release of detainees, handover of the dead and search for missing persons.

The statement said the next international meeting on Syria in the Astana format will be held in Nur-Sultan in mid-2021. Enditem